Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigns after border visit with President Trump

Apr 08, 2019, 02:29
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigns after border visit with President Trump

Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security who has become a face of President Donald Trump's hardline immigration push, is leaving the administration, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Sunday afternoon.

Mr Trump said Kevin McAleenan, the current US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become acting secretary.

Nielsen was selected for the job by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in 2017, at a moment when the former Marine Corps general was at a peak of influence within the Trump Administration.

President Donald Trump tweeted the news shortly after 6 p.m.

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But privately, she had grown increasingly frustrated by what she saw as a lack of support from other departments and increased meddling by Trump aides, the people said.

Nielsen's position had been rocky for some time.

She dutifully pushed Trump's immigration policies, including funding for his border wall, and defended the administration's practice of separating children from parents, telling a Senate committee that removing children from parents facing criminal charges happens "in the United States every day". In November it was reported that Nielsen was going to be replaced, but she continued on in her role. The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Trump had chose to replace Nielsen.

It has been rumored that Vitiello's nomination was pulled because he was not endorsed by ICE union leader Chris Crane.

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Trump said he wanted to go with someone "tougher" for the position.

Sunday's meeting took place amid an ongoing influx of migrants at the U.S. -Mexico border that has been taxing America's immigration system and sparking frustration within the White House.

The Washington Post's Robert Costa tweeted that Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli were the frontrunners to the permanent nomination.

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