Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, told colleagues she was close to resigning after President Donald Trump berated her Wednesday in front of the entire Cabinet for what he said was her failure to adequately secure the nation's borders, according to several current and former officials familiar with the episode.
A senior administration official confirmed the incident to Reuters, saying: "He lit into her".
Haberman's tweet came in response to a tweet by fellow New York Times reporter Julie Davis, who explained that Nielsen's resignation threat had been "a long time in coming" because "Nielsen and Trump have clashed often and she has been a frequent target of his freewheeling immigration rants".
Throughout the interview, Trump blamed Nielsen for what he said was collapse to fasten US borders, " the newspaper mentioned the officials.
Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month. The president urged Nielsen to be more aggressive, the official said. In a statement Thursday, a spokesman for the agency said that was false. "We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.
One White House official said Nielsen was in the building again Thursday.
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The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.
"All these are complicated matters and I will keep on to guide the Department to accomplish everything that we are able to in order to implement the President's security-focused schedule", she added, without saying anything regarding resignation programs.
Trump's anger was not only directed towards Nielsen, who he believed was the leading authority in stopping illegal immigration, according to The Times.
Homeland Security's deputy secretary position is vacant, so there would be no immediate replacement if Nielsen were to step down. He reminds staff that she was a "George W. Bush person" because of her previous tenure as a White House Homeland Security adviser. As the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Nielsen is in charge of the 20,000 employees who work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Families are typically broken up in those circumstances, as federal immigration agents send children to government shelters while their mothers and fathers remain in custody awaiting court dates. A recent target of the president has been a migrant caravan traveling from South America to the US border.
In late April, the president tasked Nielsen's Department of Homeland Security to contain and break up the traveling migrants.
While border apprehensions dipped past year to their lowest levels ever, the numbers have been ticking up in recent months, returning to more typical historical levels.