Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and President Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly allegedly “sometimes joked” that a border wall will never be built at the U.S.-Mexico border, anonymous sources claim.
According to sources who spoke to the Washington Post, Nielsen and Kelly — close allies in the Trump administration — would often mock the idea of a border wall being built at the southern border, the president’s most central campaign promise to date. The mocking of the border plan occurred around February 2017, these sources told the Post.
The report alleges:
Around the same time, Nielsen was complaining to colleagues — and her then-boss, DHS secretary Kelly — about how the administration botched its travel ban. She panned the president’s statement about the border wall, saying it was unlikely to ever be built. Kelly agreed. The two sometimes joked about it. [Emphasis added]
In early 2017, Nielsen told at least two colleagues that the president’s rhetoric made it more difficult to run the agency. [Emphasis added]
Nielsen and Kelly have previously hinted at their distrust in the effectiveness of a border wall in stopping illegal immigration. During Nielsen’s confirmation hearing last year, she repeated a statement downplaying the border wall that Kelly had said in the past.
“The president has stated as have my predecessors at DHS, certainly something that I share, ‘There is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea.’ What we need to do is work with the operators, should I be confirmed, I would look forward to speaking with state and local officials, those on the ground, both law enforcement and Federal law enforcement to include CBP to understand where we need some sort of physical barrier,” Nielsen said at the time.
Kirstjen Nielsen Aims to Win Over Trump Base in Wake of Illegal Immigration Surgehttps://t.co/TdDUWRcl0e
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) May 16, 2018
Weeks before Nielsen’s most recent round of talking tough on the border and appearing on Fox News’ Laura Ingraham’s primetime show, Nielsen was allegedly planning to quit at DHS. Kelly, reports claim, “implored” her not to leave the agency.
The Trump administration has tried to convince the public that the current replacement fencing currently being erected at the border is the border wall that the president was referring to on the campaign trail.
The bollard-style fencing, though, is extremely similar to the replacement fencing that President Obama used, Breitbart News noted. One of the few differences between the fencing going up by Trump versus the fencing that went up by Obama is height. Trump’s fencing is 30 feet tall in some regions.