Homeland Security chief Nielsen was close to resigning

Homeland Security chief Nielsen was close to resigning

Homeland Security chief Nielsen was close to resigning

Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen told staffers that she almost submitted her resignation Wednesday after President Trump reprimanded her in front of the entire cabinet, several officials familiar told the New York Times.

Nielsen, who is a protegee of John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has drafted a resignation letter but has not submitted it, according to two of the people.

During the meeting, Trump blamed Nielsen for what he said was her failure to secure USA borders, the newspaper cited the officials as saying.

Trump is now frustrated lately on growing numbers of illegal border crossings right after a drop throughout his first 12 months in office, " the Times explained, citing several officers.

When asked about the episode, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC News in a statement: "The president is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders".

Nielsen in a statement on Thursday, said she shared Trump's frustration that "active Loop Holes and the lack of Allied actions have prevented this government out of fully procuring the border and shielding the American folks".

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton posted on Twitter that the report is not accurate and Nielsen was not close to resigning.

"These are complex issues and I will continue to direct the Department to do all we can to implement the President's security-focused agenda", she added, without saying anything about resignation plans.

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Trump was furious with Nielsen, telling her he didn't think she was doing enough to secure the border.

"Someone, as sources have put it, has gotten it in his head that she is a Bush family plant", Haberman wrote of Trump's suspicions of Nielsen.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump fervently pushed for immigration reform by outlining bold plans, including the construction of a massive wall stretching across the US-Mexico border.

Illegal border crossings are up in 2018, after record lows a year ago. Another person said the president was primarily focused on the Homeland Security Department because he viewed Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping unauthorized people out of the country.

The president was also said to have been triggered after discussing Mexico, which he believed was not sufficiently curbing undocumented immigrants crossing into the border. For several weeks, Trump had advocated for the separation policy as a method to discourage border crossings, sources said to The Times. The blowup lasted more than 30 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of what transpired, as Trump's face reddened and he raised his voice, saying Nielsen needed to "close down" the border.

"I share his frustration", she added. The president urged Nielsen to be more aggressive, the official said.

Trump's tirade went on so long that many present began fidgeting in their seats and flashing grimaces, White House aides said.

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