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Trump berates DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over border security

Trump berates DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over border security

After a reportedly being berated before the cabinet by President Donald Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen nearly resigned Wednesday, according to The New York Times.

Nielsen, a protegee of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, has drafted a resignation letter but has not submitted it, two of the officials said, according to the Times.

The New York Times, which first reported Thursday afternoon that Trump had berated Nielsen, said that she had told colleagues she was close to resigning, citing several current and former officials familiar with the episode.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in reaction to the report, "The President is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders".

DHS later issued a statement calling the Times article "false" and saying that Nielsen "is hard at work today on the President's security-focused agenda.′".

She added that there was some credence to Trump's frustration, citing "loopholes" and "lack of congressional inaction" that have prevented tougher border laws.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman denied specific details of the report, including that she had already drafted a resignation letter, and that she was close to resigning.

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A separate White House official confirmed that Trump exploded over immigration in front of the Cabinet.

While border apprehensions dipped past year to their lowest levels ever, the numbers have been ticking up in recent months, returning to more typical historical levels. But this year, they have risen again.

"And we're going to get tremendous security in our country", he said.

Trump's outburst was not only aimed at Nielsen, according to the Times, but the entire cabinet for not making enough progress in stopping illegal immigration and ensuring border security. His signature campaign promise was that he would build a wall along the border, if elected.

Nielsen viewed the president's rant as directed mostly at her, and she told associates after the meeting that she should not continue in the job if he did not view her as effective, according to reports.

But Trump's anger didn't end with Nielsen, the outlet said. "I share his frustration", Nielsen said, in a statement obtained by CNN. Nielsen recently worked with state governors to send contingents of National Guard troops to help secure the border after Trump called for them to do so.

According to The New York Times, the president complained his administration has to do more on border security.