The resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wasn’t a surprise to those with firsthand exposure to her deteriorating relationship with President Trump over the ongoing crisis on the southern border.
Nielsen, aware of her precarious position, brought her resignation letter with her when she met with Trump yesterday afternoon. (Axios)
Inside the room: She wasn’t intent on quitting but was prepared to, sources tell us. The meeting went poorly, and Trump didn’t even let her announce her “resignation.” While she was racing to put out the letter (not that different from one she wrote after midterms), Trump tweeted that she “will be leaving her position.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2019
Nielsen’s standing in the West Wing had steadily declined over the past six months after national security adviser John Bolton felt the undeniable increase in illegal immigration made it clear she wasn’t up to the job and thought the president should dismiss her.
Last fall, Bolton took his advice about Nielsen to Trump, incurring the wrath of then-chief of staff John Kelly, a Nielsen protector.
Back in October, accounts surfaced of a shouting match between Bolton and Kelly. It turns out that it was over Bolton’s Nielsen conversation with Trump.
Nielsen’s abrupt departure empowers senior adviser Stephen Miller.
A Republican insider speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “Nielsen leaving will make conservatives who were getting fed up with DHS happy.”