Monday, 10 December, 2018

Kirstjen Nielsen could be asked to resign soon, officials predict

Neilsen Pelosi DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Ices Out Nancy Pelosi at Veterans Day Ceremony Twitter/@kristina_wong 12 Nov 2018
Ellis Copeland | 14 November, 2018, 03:20

US President Donald Trump has told advisers he has made a decision to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials.

A White House official disputed a Wall Street Journal report that Ricardel had been fired soon after Melania Trump's statement.

The first lady's team told the president that they suspect Ms. Ricardel is behind some negative stories about Mrs. Trump and her staff.

Ricardel also is known to have clashed with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis over Pentagon political appointee choices since early in his tenure.

A White House official accused Ricardel of being dishonest about the feud and subsequently leaking stories to try to cover her behavior.

President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to dismiss Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen after becoming impatient and frustrated with her approach to immigration.

He reportedly claims she's too loyal to the former president despite her defending Trump's stance on separating families at the border.

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If Ricardel is in fact ousted from her position, it would reflect a large shift in stability for Bolton, as well: CNN reports that Ricardel has served a key role in Bolton's efforts to secure his position as an "influential adviser to the President on all foreign matters". One is that Melania Trump is so annoyed and angry with this woman that she wanted to call her out publicly and make her look bad, and/or two...

Kelly, who is said to have had his own clashes with Bolton and Ricardel, reportedly ignored requests from Mrs Trump to promote some of her East Wing-based staff.

A spokesman for the National Security Council had no immediate comment.

When Nielsen has tried to explain the laws and regulations that prevent the government from drastically curtailing immigration or closing the border with Mexico, as Trump has suggested, the president has grown impatient and frustrated, aides said.

According to people familiar with the situation, Trump is also discussing replacing Kelly with Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers.

Nielsen has been in the White House for less than a year and has spent her time focusing on a number of issues, including border security.

Nielsen had hoped to complete one year in the job and leave in December, but it appeared unlikely she would last that long, said two sources.

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