Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is getting a reprieve from her rumored firing because of her tough response to the migrant caravan, Politico reported Tuesday.
Unnamed sources inside and close with the White House told the news outlet that President Trump is starting to feel less frustrated with Ms. Nielsen as she has pursued tougher policy objectives and issued strong defensive statements about DHS activity on the border.
People close to the DHS secretary said that prominent Republicans were advocating for her directly to Mr. Trump — including Vice President Mike Pence.
“She’s playing the part of an immigration hawk as opposed to actually being one,” Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies Mark Krikorian told Politico.
Just after the midterms, rumors swirled that Ms. Nielsen — along with Chief of Staff John F. Kelly — were on the chopping block after seeming to be on the outs with Mr. Trump.
“I’m very happy with almost all of my Cabinet,” the president told reporters at a press gaggle in mid-November, “Changes are made because they’re always made, especially after midterms.”
When violent clashes broke out on the border just after Thanksgiving, Ms. Nielsen took to Facebook and issued a statement strongly defending both the use of tear gas and the president.
“I want to thank President Donald J. Trump again for the decision to send DeptofDefense to the border to bolster our ports of entry and provide force protection for Customs and Border Protection,” she wrote. “This decision likely prevented injuries to personnel and migrants or additional damage to property. Instead of ‘a political stunt,’ as suggested by some, this was in fact the act of a leader concerned about the rule of law.”