The Department of Homeland Security is denying a New York Times report that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen drafted a resignation letter after President Donald Trump openly berated her during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
According to the Times, Trump launched a tirade about the lack of progress in deterring immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. As the head of homeland security, Nielsen reportedly felt that the president’s anger was directed toward her and considered leaving her position.
The Times says Nielsen told colleagues after the meeting that “she should not continue in the job if the president did not view her as effective.”
“One person familiar with the president’s blowup at the meeting said it was triggered by a discussion about why Mexico was not doing more to prevent illegal border crossings into the United States,” the Times reported. “Another person said the president was primarily focused on the homeland security department because he views Ms. Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping illegal immigrants out of the country.”
Two unnamed sources told the Times that Nielsen drafted a resignation letter but has not submitted to the president.
DHS later issued a statement calling the Times article “false” and saying that Nielsen “is hard at work today on the President’s security-focused agenda.′
Nielsen also released her own statement, saying Trump was “rightly frustrated” about border security and that she shared his frustration.
The Senate confirmed Nielsen, a former White House aide, in December 2017 to replace John Kelly as he moved into his role as White House chief of staff. It has been Nielsen’s role to implement Trump’s strict immigration policies at the borders, a job that has become difficult as immigration advocates push back against the administration’s tactics.
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.