Kirstjen Nielsen’s season of cruelty and futility

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite center and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listen as President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable on Saturday

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite center and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listen as President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable on Saturday

President Trump revealed in a tweet Sunday that McAleenan will become the acting head of Homeland Security, a sprawling department of 240,000 people, following the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Trump tweeted that Nielsen "will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service".

Last night, on the second floor of the East Wing of the White House residence - in a room called the yellow oval - Nielsen, Mulvaney and the President met. Nielsen tried to present a path forward that was legal and in compliance with USA laws but the President said to her, "This isn't working".

The first sign of Trump's overhaul of Homeland Security came late on Thursday when he abruptly pulled his nomination of Ron Vitiello as director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of DHS.

Her departure has been rumoured repeatedly. A senior administration official said Trump asked Nielsen to step down.

"I believe she's leaving to spend more time separating her family", he quipped.

At the same time, reports that the Trump team is reportedly eyeing a successor with an even more hard-line approach to immigration triggered alarm.

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Bennie Thompson has a message for President Donald Trump. Do you know how awful that must have been? The president would have had to place Grady in charge of DHS, given that she was the most senior Senate-confirmed official there. The irony is that Mr. Trump himself deserves the main blame. A source familiar with Nielsen's thinking told CNN Nielsen is taking this as a relief.

NBC News also reported that there could be additional ousters, but did not confirm which officials could be fired.

Two of the sources told the network that Nielsen told Trump that federal court orders prohibited the DHS from reinstating the policy and that he would be reversing his own executive order from June that ended the much-maligned practice of ripping children away from their families.

That wasn't the only apparent roadblock.

"Let's be clear: This administration's dehumanization and cruelty toward migrants will not stop after Kirstjen Nielsen leaves office".

A likely force behind such impossible requests was Miller. There she echoed Trump's comments on the situation at the border, though she ducked out of the room while Trump spoke. A protege of Kelly's, he brought her to the White House after Trump named him chief of staff. As recently as last week, reportedly realizing her job was in peril, she took to CNN and other networks to do damage control, and "convened an emergency call with members of Trump's Cabinet to discuss migration at the border", according to CNN, who said Nielsen assured them: "We are going to treat it as if we have been hit by a Cat 5 hurricane". But given what we're learning about the career government official - apparently McAleenan isn't a wild-eyed anti-immigration hawk - he's likely not long for the job.

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