Trump replaces homeland security chief

Apr 08, 2019, 02:26
Trump replaces homeland security chief

President Donald Trump says he's accepted the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Nielsen became the public face of the policy, and at one point, was targeted by protesters who heckled from a few feet away while she dined at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.

The president confirmed publicly a report by CBS News that Ms. Nielsen had gone to the White House to resign late Sunday afternoon.

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It also follows plans to cut aid to some Central American countries, marking a sudden reversal after Nielsen had days earlier visited Honduras to sign a regional compact agreement with Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Meanwhile, a a senior administration official told CNN's Jake Tapper that Nielsen "believed the situation was becoming untenable with the President becoming increasingly unhinged about the border crisis and making unreasonable and even impossible requests".

"Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service", Trump said on Twitter.

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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. In November it was reported that Nielsen was going to be replaced, but she continued on in her role. McAleenan said late last month that the United States was on pace to encounter more than 100,000 migrants in March alone, making it "the highest month since 2008". Once Kelly left the White House a year ago, Nielsen's days appeared to be numbered. Nielsen, who served in President George W. Bush's administration, never overcame internal skepticism about her allegiance to Trump.

Nielsen, 46, is among the longest-serving Cabinet heads in the Trump administration, and leads the federal government's third-biggest department, the Los Angeles Times reported last week in an article on how Nielsen had - for 15 months - "succeeded in holding onto her job, defying numerous reports that Trump had chose to fire her".

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