Nancy Pelosi calls Trump's Homeland Security purge a 'downward spiral of indecency' as more officials are given the boot
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the Trump administration's handling of the US-Mexico border "contrary to the values of our country."
- Pelosi also criticized the ongoing purge of top officials at the Department of Homeland Security.
- Despite reports of White House adviser Stephen Miller attempting to consolidate power, she placed the blame solely on Trump.
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LEESBURG, Virginia - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi characterized the ongoing purge of top officials at the Department of Homeland Security as spiraling out of control, placing blame on President Donald Trump for how migrants are being treated on the United States border with Mexico.
During a meeting with reporters at the House Democratic Caucus' annual issues conference on Wednesday, Pelosi noted the abrupt firings and how Trump's agenda is "contrary to the values of our country."
Pelosi said that she had a previously scheduled phone call with recently ousted DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday, but that it was canceled after her sudden resignation.
"The secretary of Homeland Security, I had an appointment to speak with her at five o'clock in the east - two o'clock in California - on Monday," Pelosi said. "And at one o'clock, she realized that she wasn't going to be available for a call at two o'clock. It came as a surprise to her that she was leaving that office."
Pelosi also took issue with the way several top officials have been booted from their positions to make way for Trump's new picks to lead DHS.
"Now let me just say, I'm no fan of the policies that she implemented," she said. "But what we see happening there is the succession is that the deputy will become the secretary and so they have to replace everyone so the president can get his new team in there."
After Nielsen's departure, Homeland Security Management Undersecretary Claire Grady also resigned to make way for US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to take the reins as acting DHS secretary.
"What is happening on our border is something that is so contrary to the values of our country," Pelosi said. "So undermining of our commitment to our family values and that his administration just is in a downward spiral of indecency."
The purge has expanded beyond Nielsen and her deputy. Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles resigned Tuesday as well. Wednesday afternoon, Ronald Vitiello, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement resigned, just one week after the White House pulled his nomination from the Senate.
The mass removal of top officials at DHS is reportedly part of a power grab by White House adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hardliner who has the president's ear.
But Pelosi characterized the administration's actions in recent days as solely a Trump ordeal.
"And now the president is saying he is the decider on how all of that goes," she said. "Well we all know that. This is his agenda."