Trump Was Furious That Kirstjen Nielsen Resisted His Illegal Orders To Restart Immigrant Family Separations: Report
NBC News’ Geoff Bennett and Julia Ainsley are reporting that former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen incurred President Donald Trump’s wrath when she resisted his orders to restart the illegal policy (banned by the courts) of separating immigrant children from their parents:
EXCLUSIVE from @JuliaEAinsley and me: President Trump has for months now urged his administration to reinstate large-scale separation of migrant families crossing the border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House.— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 8, 2019
Trump has been pushing this policy since January, the sources said.— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 8, 2019
A senior administation official says they believe Trump is convinced that family separation has been the most effective policy at deterring large numbers of asylum seekers.
The New York Times reports Trump frequently flew into a rage when Nielson told him he couldn’t do something illegal:
The president berated Ms. Nielsen regularly, calling her at home early in the mornings to demand that she take action to stop migrants from entering the country, including doing things that were clearly illegal, like blocking all migrants from seeking asylum. She repeatedly noted the limitations imposed on her department by federal laws, court settlements and international obligations.
Those responses only infuriated Mr. Trump further. The president’s fury erupted in the spring of 2018 as Ms. Nielsen hesitated for weeks about whether to sign a memo ordering the routine separation of migrant children from their families so that the parents could be detained.