President Trump’s decision to oust Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Sunday comes just weeks after he was publicly urged to do so by his friend, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.
During a show on March 29, Dobbs disparaged Nielsen and warned that “millions” of Americans could die if she remained on the job.
“DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is foiling, and her department appears utterly paralyzed under ineffectual leadership,” Dobbs said, accusing Nielsen of being insufficiently tough on border control. “Tonight, we are calling on the president to fire these incompetents and the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security and Customs Border Protection.”
“The president needs to fire [Nielsen],” he added later during an interview with former border patrol chief Mark Morgan. “She is nothing but a roadblock on creativity, innovation, adaptiveness and responding to the situation we have instead of the one she apparently wants to dream about.”
“She is absolutely overwhelmed. She is paralyzed, her department is paralyzed,” he added.
Things escalated with Dobbs and Morgan blasting Nielsen over the practice of releasing Mexican asylum seekers into the United States before their claims were fully processed.
“These border officials should hang their heads in shame and they should be fired for endangering the lives of the American people,” he added. “The temerity of the head of DHS to allow that to happen. It’s ignorance. The only can-do attitude is on the side of the cartels … we’re just going to consign tens of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans to their deaths.”
The segment is notable as Dobbs is known to be personally close to the president. He has partied at Trump’s “winter White House” of Mar-A-Lago and has even been known to call into Oval Office meetings to offer his view of current events, according to reporting from the Daily Beast.
It’s unclear what if any effect Dobb’s anti-Nielsen position had in her ultimate decision to leave the department. The Secretary has come in for criticism from a broad array of immigration hard liners including White House senior aide Stephen Miller and Ann Coulter. Nielsen has also battled critics on the left who have long viewed her as the face of President Trump’s hard-line immigration policies — including separating illegal migrant families at the border as a means of deterrent.