Donald Trump met with his Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen this evening, and as a result, she’s resigning, according to several major news outlets. On the surface this feels like a good thing for America, considering that Nielsen played a huge role in kidnapping immigrant kids from their parents and locking them inside cages in concentration camps. But within the context of another recent development, this looks like it’s about to get far uglier than what we’ve seen to date.
Just two days ago, Donald Trump abruptly withdrew his own nominee for ICE Director, saying he wanted someone “tougher” for the position. This sent up some red flags. Based on Trump’s racist, violent, criminal, maniacal approach toward immigrants, his own handpicked nominee was surely “tough” on immigration by Trump’s standards. Yet Trump suddenly decided he wanted someone far more monstrous in the position.
Now Trump is also ousting Nielsen. Although her monstrous approach to immigration was plenty “tough” by Trump’s standards, we’re left to conclude that Trump must have decided he also wanted someone even more deranged in her position. So what’s going on here? We don’t know – but we know who’s apparently behind it. According to a Washington Post report earlier this week, Trump ousted his own ICE nominee at the behest of his uber-racist White House adviser Stephen Miller. This strongly suggests that Miller is also behind Nielsen’s ouster, and that Miller has convinced Trump to take his anti-immigrant horror show to the next level.
What’s even more evil than kidnapping immigrant kids and locking them in cages? We’re afraid to even ponder the question. One can only hope that these personnel changes are merely an attempt at “looking tougher” and that nothing will come of it. But if Donald Trump and Stephen Miller are indeed planning to use these moves as a pretext for carrying out their most deranged anti-immigrant fantasies, things are going to get very ugly very quickly.
Keep in mind that Donald Trump is now trying to fend off everything from the inevitable release of the Mueller report, to the inevitable release of his tax returns, to the already-in-progress release of his banking records – and he knows he’s going to lose at least some of these battles before long. Is Trump replacing his immigration officials with even worse monsters simply because he wants mainstream Americans to be afraid of what horrors he might try next, or is he planning to try to hurry up and actually carry out those horrors before his scandals end his presidency? Update, 6:05pm: Trump just tweeted that current Border Patrol boss Kevin McAleenan is his new nominee to replace Kirstjen Nielsen.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report