Trump berates DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over border security

Posted May 12, 2018

The New York Times is reporting Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was close to quitting after a contentious Cabinet meeting.

Nielsen reportedly told colleagues that she was close to resigning after the incident and had already drafted a resignation letter, the Times said, citing "several current and former officials familiar with the episode".

According to those familiar with the admonishment, Trump was unhappy with Nielsen's handling of border security; one source told the Times that the president went on a long tirade about Nielsen's lack of ability to tighten the U.S. -Mexico border and prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country.

Trump was said to be angry that he was robbed of a talking point that his policies had driven down illegal immigrant crossings.

When White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the meeting, she responded simply, "the president is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders".

"The President is rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of Congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border and protecting the American people", Nielsen's statement said.

However, a representative for the Department of Homeland Security, Tyler Q. Houlton, denied the idea, firmly labeling it "false".

Nielsen viewed the president's rant as directed mostly at her, and she told associates after the meeting that she should not continue in the job if he did not view her as effective, according to reports.

Throughout the interview, Trump blamed Nielsen for what he said was collapse to fasten USA borders, " the newspaper mentioned the officials.

Trump has let his frustration surrounding immigration issues be known to the public, especially recently, as a caravan of about 150 migrants from Central America made its way to the southern border.

While border apprehensions dipped previous year to their lowest levels ever, the numbers have been ticking up in recent months, returning to more typical historical levels.

At the meeting, Trump railed against her for failing to stop illegal border crossings.

"All these are complicated matters and I will keep on to guide the Department to accomplish everything that we are able to in order to implement the President's security-focused schedule", she added, without saying anything regarding resignation programs.

During those discussions, officials had presented Trump with a list of proposals that would help border agents crack down on people crossing the border illegally and send them back more quickly. He also went off on other cabinet officials who missed his expectations on stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants in the USA, one source who attended the meeting said. The president urged Nielsen to be more aggressive, the official said.