US Homeland Security chief: did not hear Trump use vulgarity during meeting
- Author: Kara Saunders Jan 17, 2018,
Jan 17, 2018, 2:06
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and faced some tough questions about President Trump's recent disparaging remarks about Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations, which he reportedly called "shithole countries". Trump has denied using the word, though he has said the conversation was tough and has spoken privately with friends about the remark playing well with his base.
When Leahy reminded her that he also wanted to know whether Trump used a similar word, Nielsen again dodged.
The report also shows officials must "continue to enhance our screening and vetting" as well as "continually vet those who are here", including legal permanent residents and others who were naturalized, she said. "And for you not to feel that hurt, and that pain, and to dismiss the questions of some of my colleagues, saying I've already answered that line of questions, when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now because of what they're anxious about what happened in the White House".
'I actually do not know that sir, ' Nielsen responded.
"What I heard him saying was that he'd like to move away from a country-based quota system to a merit-based system so it shouldn't matter where you're from, it should matter what you can contribute to the United States", she replied. "Others in the room were also using tough language". Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., were at the Oval Office meeting last Thursday to present their bipartisan DACA plan.
A memo from then-acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said the agency lacked the authority to implement DACA because it was an executive order from former President Barack Obama.
"I won't ask you to say those words here but I will say for the record that Sen". Graham spoke up in a way that I respect very much, countering what the president said about countries in Africa. She repeatedly declined to cite specific words used by the president but otherwise confirmed the general tenor of the exchange. Perdue initially said he did not recall whether the president made the comment. "What does he mean when he says he wants more immigrants from Norway?" "It was very impassioned", Nielsen said.
The comments have complicated the debate over an immigration deal to protect immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, and also overshadowed larger spending negotiations ahead of a possible federal government shutdown this week.
While Leahy was questioning Nielsen, an aide stood up behind the senator and held up a poster of a newspaper article where the headline spelled out the vulgarity Trump allegedly used.
Several GOP lawmakers with first-hand knowledge of the meeting have backed Durbin up, including Sen. "That's an easy answer, yes or no".
"We need the wall too, it's part of border security", Nielsen insisted.
The question, first asked by Democratic Sen.
"Well usually when something is paid for you pay for it with money", Leahy said. "This is an important issue, he's passionate about it, he's not going to apologize for trying to fix our immigration system".