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You are here News Politics The hostile border between Trump and the head of DHS

The hostile border between Trump and the head of DHS

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Kirstjen NielsenPresident Trump began berating Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the Oval Office earlier this spring, according to administration officials, griping about her performance and blaming her for a surge in illegal border crossings.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who installed her in the job, jumped in to defend her.

The two men then sparred over Nielsen as she silently watched. At one point, Trump noted the border numbers were lower under Kelly and wondered aloud why Nielsen could not perform as well, according to these officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting.

As illegal crossings are once more on the rise and Trump hears a cascade of criticism from conservative allies, Nielsen finds herself on the receiving end of the president’s visceral anger about immigration. He sees the issue as the reason he won the presidency and a key to his politicking ahead of the midterm elections.

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