Report: Homeland Chief Nearly Quit Over Trump Tirade

But Kirstjen Nielsen says she's frustrated too
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2018 7:00 PM CDT
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testifies before Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 8, 2018.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is pushing back against a report that she told colleagues she was close to resigning after President Donald Trump scolded her at a Wednesday cabinet meeting, the AP reports. Nielsen says in a statement that Trump "is rightly frustrated" that his administration has been prevented "from fully securing the border and protecting the American people." She says she shares Trump's frustration. The New York Times reports that the president has grown increasingly angry with Nielsen over what he feels is the country's inability to adequately secure its border.

Trump told reporters before the Wednesday meeting about his frustration with immigration, suggesting the anger yet to come. "We’ve very much toughened up the border, but the laws are horrible," he said. "The laws in this country for immigration and illegal immigration are absolutely horrible. And we have to do something about it—not only the wall, which we’re building sections of wall right now." Nielsen later drafted a resignation letter but did not submit it, according to officials who knew about the episode. Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton tweeted that the Times report is "false" and Nielsen was not close to resigning.


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