Over the weekend, President Trump told advisers he wants Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out as soon as possible, five current and former White House officials told The Washington Post on Monday.
He has complained about her for months and does not think she is doing a good enough job securing the borders, the officials said. Trump and Nielsen were supposed to visit troops stationed at the border in South Texas this week, but Trump canceled the trip.
People close to Nielsen said Trump gets frustrated when she tries to tell him about immigration laws and regulations, and he has berated her during Cabinet meetings. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who preceded Nielsen as DHS secretary, is Nielsen's biggest defender in the administration, and he's reportedly trying to either avert her dismissal or postpone it. Officials told the Post that Kelly's word doesn't mean much, because his future at the White House is also uncertain.
Trump has told White House aides that potential replacements for Nielsen include Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, the Post reports.