DHS Sec. Was 'Close' To Resigning Over Trump Tantrum, Hasn't Done So

DHS Sec. Was 'Close' To Resigning Over Trump Tantrum, Hasn't Done So

President Donald Trump's frustration with Kirstjen Nielsen, which boiled over Wednesday in a Cabinet meeting tirade, has been growing for weeks - stoked by associates who have privately made the case that she's a closeted "never Trumper" who still doesn't fully back his agenda. While doing so, he got furious at Nielsen and blamed her for not introducing enough measures to stop border crossings.

The Times, citing "several" unnamed current and former officials "familiar with the incident", said Trump yelled at Nielsen and others during a Cabinet meeting Wednesday about undocumented immigrants coming to the United States from Mexico.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman poured cold water on a report claiming its chief nearly resigned after an angry outburst by President Trump.

The tongue-lashing, over Trump's belief his homeland chief wasn't doing enough to halt illegal immigration, went on so long Nielsen reportedly prepared a resignation letter. "We are a nation of legislation and the president and his government may apply them" White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in an announcement on Thursday.

One person close to Nielsen told the Times she is "miserable in her job". Nielsen issued her own statement Thursday evening saying the president is justifiably frustrated but that she is staying on the job.

Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month.

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Administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a candid account of the private meeting. "I share his frustration", she said.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen released a statement about the New York Times report that she was contemplating resigning her position after being "berated" by President Trump.

Those numbers have since risen to more normal levels, pro-immigration groups speculate, because illegal immigrants were initially stunned by the president's early messaging but are now disregarding it.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman denied specific details of the report, including that she had already drafted a resignation letter, and that she was close to resigning.

"And we have to do something about it - not only the wall, which we're building sections of wall right now", he reportedly added.

Trump, she told the Times, is "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border". "Another person said the president was primarily focused on the homeland security department because he views Ms. Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping illegal immigrants out of the country".

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