Kirstjen Nielsen, the United States homeland security chief whose departure was announced by Donald Trump, was said to be a frequent target of Trump's ire. "I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!"
She visited El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, marking her first stop on a border tour aimed at assessing the surge of migrants and the department's response. The meeting went poorly, and Trump didn't even let her announce her "resignation".
Last year, Nielsen came under increasing pressure by critics to step aside after the Trump administration adopted the policy of separating migrant children from their parents as part of its "zero tolerance" approach meant to deter families from leaving home in the hope of entering the United States.
Nielsen dutifully pushed Trump's immigration policies, including funding for his border wall, and defended the administration's practice of separating children from parents.
Nielsen returned early from Europe and was with Trump in California as he toured the border Friday.
CBS News reports that Nielsen's possible resignation is just one of several expected in a "a massive DHS overhaul" created to take the Department of Homeland Security in a "tougher direction", more in line with Trump's campaign rhetoric.
Trump nominated Nielsen for the secretary of Homeland Security position in October 2017, and the Senate confirmed the nomination two months later.
Nielsen, 46, has held the position since December 2017. But she expressed some frustration with the current immigration system.
"@SecNielsen's legacy of tearing innocent families apart will follow her for the rest of her life-and she should be ashamed of the role she played", Democratic senator and 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren tweeted of Nielsen's exit.
Repeatedly subjected to tough questioning by Democrats at congressional hearings, Nielsen became a lightning rod for criticism of Trump's policies.
Matthew Whitaker - The former acting attorney general left the Justice Department last month, but could make a triumphant return to the Trump administration at DHS. Fifty-five-year old Patrick Carlineo Jr., a vocal Trump supporter who told investigators he "loves the president" and "hates radical Muslims in our government", called Omar's office and delivered an expletive-laden rant, saying, "Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?"
Nielsen, who served in President George W. Bush's administration, never overcame internal skepticism about her allegiance to Trump.
Kelly resigned as chief of staff on January 2 amid reports of a strained relationship with Trump.
Kirstjen Nielsen is out as Homeland Security secretary and, for now at least, Kevin McAleenan is in.
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