Trump blew up at homeland security chief over border security

President Donald Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen got into a lengthy, heated argument during a ...

Posted: May 12, 2018 2:57 AM
Updated: May 12, 2018 2:57 AM

President Donald Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen got into a lengthy, heated argument during a Cabinet meeting focused on immigration Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the blowup told CNN.

Trump was furious with Nielsen, telling her he didn't think she was doing enough to secure the border. But Nielsen stood her ground, citing the law in certain instances, the source said.

A separate White House official confirmed that Trump exploded over immigration in front of the Cabinet. The official described the remarks as "angry and heated" but also as fairly typical for Trump on this issue.

The New York Times first reported on the blowup, saying Trump berated Nielsen to the point she told colleagues she was close to resigning after the incident.

Two people told the Times that Nielsen, the Cabinet head who oversees agencies responsible for immigration enforcement and border security, drafted a resignation letter.

Trump went on a "lengthy tirade" before the full Cabinet, the report said, but it added that Nielsen thought the thrust of Trump's remarks was about her.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman flatly denied that Nielsen had threatened to resign.

"The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false," the spokesman, Tyler Houlton, tweeted. "The Secretary is hard at work today on the President's security-focused agenda and supporting the men and women of @DHSgov."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in reaction to the report, "The President is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders. We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them.''

Nielsen said in a statement that she shares Trump's frustration about the border, blaming it in part on "congressional inaction."

"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. I share his frustration," Nielsen said. "Border security is the most basic and necessary responsibility of a sovereign nation. 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."

The report of Trump's angry remarks marked at least the second top Cabinet official Trump is said to have berated to the point they nearly quit. The Times reported last year that Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions an "idiot" to his face and said he should resign, and a source told CNN last year that Sessions offered to resign amid a series of heated exchanges with Trump.

Nielsen was picked to be secretary after her former boss at the department, John Kelly, was tapped to be Trump's chief of staff.

Nielsen, who was Kelly's chief of staff, largely picked up where he left off at the department, including serving as the face of the President's aggressive immigration agenda. Trump and Kelly have also had an increasingly fraught relationship of late.

Nielsen has served as the primary voice of Trump's immigration policy and has led the department in pursuing a number of hardline positions to crack down on illegal immigration and cut back on legal immigration. She has defended policies under criticism from Democrats in Congress, including a heated exchange with New Jersey's Sen. Cory Booker after she said she did not hear the President's comments in a meeting where he reportedly described immigrants coming from "shithole countries."

In recent weeks, with increased attention on the southern border and a "caravan" of migrants seeking asylum in the United States, Nielsen has announced that her department will refer any immigrant caught crossing the border illegally for prosecution, even if they may be making a valid asylum claim, which could result in the separation of thousands of parents from their children as they face charges.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 818652

Reported Deaths: 15378
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147091924
Mobile724971336
Madison52231697
Shelby37575349
Baldwin37224549
Tuscaloosa35073612
Montgomery34092739
Lee23519246
Calhoun22221482
Morgan20910378
Etowah19816498
Marshall18338303
Houston17360412
St. Clair16034339
Cullman15406293
Limestone15328199
Elmore15186286
Lauderdale14270295
Talladega13827281
DeKalb12637261
Walker11180370
Blount10179176
Autauga9967148
Jackson9860183
Coffee9205191
Dale8884185
Colbert8840201
Tallapoosa7079198
Escambia6766132
Covington6706183
Chilton6633161
Russell635259
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion4995126
Dallas4949200
Pike4791105
Clarke475484
Geneva4568127
Winston4507103
Lawrence4309117
Bibb424686
Barbour357576
Marengo337890
Monroe331463
Randolph329864
Butler325896
Pickens315682
Henry311966
Hale311188
Cherokee302360
Fayette292379
Washington251351
Cleburne247460
Crenshaw244875
Clay243068
Macon234163
Lamar223347
Conecuh185953
Coosa180040
Lowndes174764
Wilcox168739
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132938
Greene126644
Choctaw88227
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Clear cool and dry to begin your weekend, but both afternoons should be a little bit above what we expect for this time of year temperature wise. Rain chances begin to return late Sunday night, with at least two chances for storms over the next week, summer could be strong.
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