Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had requested Sunday evening's meeting with President Trump to work out "a way forward" at the U.S.-Mexico border and came prepared with "a list of things that needed to change to improve the relationship with Mr. Trump," The New York Times reports. Instead, during the "cordial" 30-minute meeting, "Trump was determined to ask for her resignation. After the meeting, she submitted it." The resignation was effective immediately.
Trump and Nielsen had clashed in recent weeks over Trump's on-and-off calls to close the southern U.S. border, an idea Nielsen found "ineffective and inappropriate" as a response to an increase in migrant Central American families, the Times reports.
Trump was also furious last spring when "Nielsen hesitated for weeks about whether to sign a memo ordering the routine separation of migrant children from their families," a policy she then publicly embraced, the Times reports, and in recent weeks, Trump "repeatedly demanded that she cut off foreign aid to Central American countries even though the funding was the responsibility of the State Department." Policy wasn't the only source of tension, the Times adds:
[Nielsen's] entire time in the job was spent batting back suspicion from the president, even as he told people he liked how she performed on television and enjoyed dealing with her personally. ... The president called Ms. Nielsen 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. ... Multiple White House officials said she had grown deeply paranoid in recent months, after numerous stories about her job being on the line. [The New York Times]
On the other hand, the Times adds, Nielsen has been "telling associates she was miserable in the job" for a year now. Peter Weber