CNN’s Jake Tapper reported Monday afternoon on details of the tensions between President Donald Trump and officials in his administration over immigration and border security. Rather notably, Tapper said the president was “ordering officials to break the law.”
Tapper reported on details of a recent White House meeting in which the president, per one attendee, was “ranting and raving, saying border security was his issue.”
Trump reportedly told now-ousted DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to shut down the port of El Paso on March 22nd, with plans to close other ports afterwards.
Nielsen pushed back and apparently told POTUS that migrants would just “go between ports,” but he responded, “I don’t care.”
She also reportedly pushed back on Trump when he talked about just denying entry to asylum seekers.
And then there’s this detail from Trump’s border visit to Calexico last week:
Behind the scenes, two sources told CNN, the President told border agents to not let migrants in. Tell them we don’t have the capacity, he said. If judges give you trouble, say, “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room.”
After the President left the room, agents sought further advice from their leaders, who told them they were not giving them that direction and if they did what the President said they would take on personal liability. You have to follow the law, they were told.
The report also says Trump “wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers.” One senior administration official said, “He just wants to separate families.”
As Tapper brought in his panel, he said, “There’s always this argument being made about President Trump––his bark is worse than his bite, this is just rhetoric in order to achieve what he wants––but here he is telling border agents to break the law, according to senior administration officials, and ordering the port closed.”
You can watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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