Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen told staffers that she almost submitted her resignation Wednesday after President Trump reprimanded her in front of the entire cabinet, several officials familiar told the New York Times. Adolf Hitler's in Downfall lasts fewer than three minutes. "Why don't you have solutions?" How is this still happening?" he said, adding later, "We need to shut it down. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose private conversations. A separate White House official confirmed that Trump exploded over immigration in front of the Cabinet. Eventually, the topic moved on to health care, bringing relief to many in the room.
According to The New York Times, the president complained his administration has to do more on border security.
Frustrated by lawmakers who have prevented him from building a wall on the southern border, and by laws preventing him from deporting more migrants from the United States, Donald Trump has recently lashed out in anger at his subordinates and in rallies, fulminating over his inability to execute his sweeping campaign promises to keep more immigrants out of the country.
Chief of Staff John Kelly, Nielsen's top ally who recommended her to Trump for the Homeland Security job, also was present. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended her, saying the administration was looking for new ways to deter illegal crossings.
The Times reported that Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter but not submitted it. CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe noted Thursday that Nielsen would not be the first Trump administration official to express a desire to leave after being berated by Mr. Trump either by colleagues or in the Oval Office.
Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton posted on Twitter that the report is not accurate and Nielsen was not close to resigning.More news: Wayne Rooney urged to avoid joining Steven Gerrard at Rangers
The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request.
One person close to Nielsen said she is unlikely to resign.
One person familiar with Trump's blowup at the meeting said it was prompted by a discussion about why Mexico was not doing more to prevent illegal border crossings into the United States.
Homeland Security's deputy secretary position is vacant, so there would be no immediate replacement if Nielsen were to step down. Trump went on a Twitter tear, writing that he'd told Nielsen to block the migrants from entering the U.S. Families are typically broken up in those circumstances, as federal immigration agents send children to government shelters while their mothers and fathers remain in custody awaiting court dates.
Nielsen did not deny the meeting had grown heated in a statement Thursday evening, but said she shared the president's frustrations.
Illegal crossings plunged in the early phase of Trump's presidency, but have since returned to levels consistent with the last several years of the Obama administration. He has also threatened to shut down the government by September 2018 if the Congress does not approve funding to make good on his campaign promise to build a wall on the southern USA border with Mexico.