Five current and former White House officials have indicated Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will be removed from her post at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the coming weeks.
The sources told the Washington Post that President Trump canceled a planned trip with Nielsen to the southern border to meet with U.S. troops.
Additionally, the aides report that the President “wants her out as soon as possible,” citing Nielsen’s alleged inability to properly implement his immigration enforcement policies.
JUST IN: President Trump has told his advisers that he is preparing to remove Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, according to a Washington Post report.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 13, 2018
Why Kirstjen Nielsen is on the chopping block
It all comes down to what the President views as an inability to implement his hardline illegal immigration stance and border security policies.
“The president has grumbled for months about what he views as Nielsen’s lackluster performance on immigration enforcement and is believed to be looking for a replacement who will implement his policy ideas with more alacrity,” the Post reports.
The writing has been on the wall since May, when Trump lambasted Nielsen with a lengthy tirade following a second consecutive month in which illegal border crossings soared.
“Why don’t you have solutions? How is this still happening?” aides reported Trump saying. “We need to shut it down. We’re closed.”
Our Southern Border is under siege. Congress must act now to change our weak and ineffective immigration laws. Must build a Wall. Mexico, which has a massive crime problem, is doing little to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2018
Nielsen reportedly tried to explain that laws hamstrung her department from stemming the flow of illegals into the country. She would later draft a resignation letter that would never be sent.
She may need to dust it off again.
Following the verbal beating, Nielsen pivoted to defending President Trump’s illegal immigration policies, including the controversial separation of ‘families’ at the border.
When the media resorted to falsely posting images of children in cages and creating a narrative that the administration was being cruel, Nielsen responded: “The narratives we don’t see are the narratives of the crime.”
She correctly noted at the time that those seeking asylum in the United States had proper channels with which to do so.
This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018
The child separation controversy led House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to call for Nielsen’s resignation.
.@SecNielsen must resign. This is not an immigration issue, it is a humanitarian issue. Children are being used by the Trump Admin to create leverage, with a goal of passing Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. I struggle to think of anything more barbaric. #FamiliesBelongTogether
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) June 18, 2018
Who will replace Kirstjen Nielsen?
The Washington Post notes one DHS official who thinks the President needs to nominate somebody with “executive-branch experience” to run the department more efficiently.
Names that have surfaced include U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan, TSA administrator David P. Pekoske, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, whom Trump endorsed for governor of Kansas in a race he ultimately lost.