Kirstjen Nielsen, the USA homeland security chief whose departure was announced by Donald Trump on Sunday, was said to be a frequent target of the president's ire despite being among the staunchest defenders of his controversial immigration policies.
Kirstjen Nielsen, the U.S. homeland security chief whose departure was announced by Donald Trump, was said to be a frequent target of Trump's ire.
"What I'll say about Kevin is he's an extremely intelligent guy", he continued.
The president called Ms. Nielsen at home early in the mornings to demand that she take action to stop migrants from entering the country, including doing things that were clearly illegal, such as blocking all migrants from seeking asylum. The meeting went poorly, and Trump didn't even let her announce her "resignation".
During Nielsen's tenure, apprehensions of migrant families between ports of entry along the southern border have steadily increased since the summer of 2018 and have reached record highs in recent months, according to government figures. She ushered DHS through several crises, including a public outcry over a departmental policy of separating minor children from parents declaring asylum at the United States-Mexican border.
In a tweet late Sunday, Nielsen said that she would stay on until Wednesday.
Nielsen's departure was announced two days after the Republican president abruptly said on Friday he was dumping his own nominee to be the top officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ronald Vitiello, saying he wanted someone "tougher". News reports said Trump had belittled her in Cabinet meetings, unhappy with her efforts to tighten immigration.
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We came away with a win , that is great, but I think everyone knows we can perform better. I'm really happy for him. "If they are playing the way they are - it is exciting times ".
Ms. Nielsen submitted her resignation to the White House Sunday, blaming Congress for no longer listening to her advocacy for Mr. Trump's agenda.
Her replacement, McAleenan, has helped shape numerous administration's policies to date and is considered highly competent by congressional leaders, the White House and Homeland Security officials.
Repeatedly subjected to tough questioning by Democrats at congressional hearings, Nielsen became a lightning rod for criticism of Trump's policies.
Last month, she defended the president's declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his pet project: A wall on the US-Mexico border.
Nielsen said the responsibilities of this sprawling, multi-faceted agency - formed in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks - are "vast and have never been more vital", and that it was "the honor of a lifetime to serve with the fearless men and women" of DHS. Mick Mulvaney, the White House chief of staff, also serves in that role on an acting basis.
Kirstjen Nielsen is out as Homeland Security secretary and, for now at least, Kevin McAleenan is in.
Nielsen also faced a critical response in a number of instances for comments that were seen as tone deaf.
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