President Donald Trump is growing increasingly agitated with Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security. According to a report by the Washington Post, Trump blamed Nielsen for not doing her job, which, in his opinion, has resulted in an increase in illegal border crossings at the Mexico border.
Earlier this month, Trump lashed out at Nielsen in front of several people at a Cabinet meeting. “Why don’t you have solutions? How is this still happening? We need to shut it down. We are closed,” he said.
This incident, according to the Washington Post, was witnessed by several senior advisers, including counselor Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, immigration adviser Stephen Miller, chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. Chief of Staff John Kelly, who recommended Nielsen for the job, was also present.
According to a report by New York Times, Nielsen drafted her resignation letter. However, these claims were not confirmed.
A report by the Quint stated that the White House is looking at possible replacements. According to Quint, candidates being shortlisted for the role include Tom Cotton, the senator from Arkansas, energy secretary Rick Perry, and Thomas Homan, the retiring head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, quashed rumors that the White House is looking for a replacement. He said that President Trump and Nielsen are “on the same page,” and any accusations to the contrary are simply false.”
However, sources say Trump is extremely unhappy with the way Nielsen handles border security. He also blamed Nielsen for not raising funds to build the border wall.
In Nielsen’s opinion, Trump does not understand the “nuances” of immigration, reports The Hill.
A former staffer who worked with Nielsen at the Department of Homeland Security said that the secretary is in an “impossible, no-win situation.”
“The president has a very rudimentary understanding of what the border is all about and how you secure it. And she’s also not one of the border fire-eaters that have his ear right now,” the source added.
Meanwhile, White House senior policy adviser Miller said that Nielsen knows the threat, understands the threat, and is undertaking bold action to confront it head-on.
Mark Krikorian, head of the Center for Immigration Studies, said that President Trump wants Secretary Nielsen to deliver a crackdown that looks like “the Iraq War.”
“He wants to do shock and awe,” Krikorian told the Washington Post.