Homeland Security Turns On Trump During Intense Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting

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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and basically sold Donald Trump out. The DHS Secretary’s demeanor shifted as the Democratic senators relentlessly grilled her.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked Nielsen whether the president used a vulgarity “or a “substantially similar word” to describe some of the countries in a meeting with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The Washington Post reported that she responded:

‘I did not hear that word used.’

Leahy repeated his question, according to the Washington Post, and she responded:

‘The conversation was very impassioned. I don’t dispute that the president was using tough language. Others in the room were also using tough language.’

The senator repeated the question a third time:

‘The president used tough language in general, as did other congressmen in the room, yes sir.’

Shortly after, Sen. Durbin started his questions with a wry comment. Then, he asked her what Trump said about African countries:

‘I hope you remember me. We were at two meetings together.’

 

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The DHS secretary answered:

‘He’d like to move away from a country-based quota system to a merit-based quota system.’

Durbin then asked:

‘How did he characterize those countries?’

She responded:

‘I don’t specifically remember categorization of countries in Africa.’

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Next, Sen. Durbin asked Nielsen to tell the committee what it was that Trump said about immigrants from European countries, for example, Norway. She did:

‘I heard him repeating what he had said in a meeting before, that they are industrious, that they are a hard-working country, they don’t have much crime there, they don’t have much debt.’

The words “hard-working country” were the point when Nielsen betrayed her boss. Those words meant, she and Trump assumed people from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries were not hard-working. Next, Durbin asked her to clarify what she meant when she said on Fox News that Trump used “strong language” in the meeting. She commented:

‘Ah, let’s see. Strong language, there was — I apologize, I don’t remember a specific word.’

Then, the secretary added that several people there used “general profanity.” Durbin turned the question back to her:

‘Did you hear me use profanity?’

Nielsen answered:

‘No, sir, nor did I.’

 

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Then, she said that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) used “tough language.”

The senator agreed, saying Graham:

‘Repeated exactly what the president had said prior to that.’

After that, Durbin said he was appreciative to Graham for:

‘Countering what the president had said about Africa.’

Later, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reminded Nielsen she was testifying under oath. Then, she asked the secretary:

‘Is it possible that he said the word?’

Nielsen skittered around the question:

‘Anything is possible, yes, ma’am.’

Then, Klobuchar asked:

‘Did you hear him say s-house?’

Once again, Nielsen avoided a direct answer, saying she came late to the meeting, and there were 12 people there:

‘Again, it’s possible.’

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When Nielsen appeared on CBS This Morning earlier, she commented that she did not remember the president using vulgarity regarding Haiti and African nations:

‘I just don’t — I don’t — that’s — I don’t — that’s not a word that I remember being used. It was very impassioned. People on all sides feel very strongly about this issue, frankly, as well as they should. There were a lot of conversations happening at the same time. It’s not a particular phrase that I heard.’

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Then, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked her if she believed the threat of Russia hacking U.S. electoral systems and whether she believed the country had hacked the 2016 election. She responded:

‘(Russia will) generally try to test our systems.’

Whitehouse did not accept her non-answer and repeated the question. This time she answered:

‘Yes there was interference, but to my knowledge no votes were changed, (Russia and) other foreign actors (would try again).’

https://youtu.be/IBrOv5hBOEo

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Featured Image via Getty Images/Will McNamee.