‘Good Riddance’: Nets Trash Nielsen’s ‘Tumultuous Tenure’ at DHS

On Monday, all three network morning shows reveled in Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announcing her resignation with relieved reporting about her “tumultuous tenure” at the department being over and touting Democrats blasting the Trump cabinet official. Correspondents fretted over who would replace Nielsen as they bid her “good riddance.”

“She became the face of the toughest immigration policies in this country, including that family separation policy, in years,” reporter Terry Moran proclaimed on ABC’s Good Morning America. Later in the segment, he reiterated the point: “Nielsen will likely be best remembered for enforcing the President’s zero-tolerance policy, which resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families at the border.”

 

 

He highlighted how “There’s no love lost for her from Democrats,” before playing a clip of Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline berating Nielsen during a hearing on Capitol Hill: “I’m talking about people who have died in your custody. You don’t have the number?”

Moran warned: “But while some are saying good riddance. Others are now voicing concern over who will lead the agency next.”

Talking to co-host George Stephanopoulos following the taped report, Moran predicted: “And so, her legacy will be that many courts did find several of the major policies that Kirstjen Nielsen put in place to be unlawful. That certainly will be part of her legacy.”

“Secretary Nielsen, we’ve learned, will stay on the job officially until Wednesday to help with the transition as her tumultuous tenure inside President Trump’s cabinet comes to an end after months of tension and controversy,” correspondent Hallie Jackson announced on NBC’s Today show.

Echoing Moran, Jackson declared: “Nielsen had become the face of the President’s most controversial immigration decisions, publicly defending, for example, the separation of families along the border last summer.”

Wrapping her report, Jackson eagerly quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hammering Nielsen while fearing her replacement: “It is deeply alarming that the Trump administration official who put children in cages is reportedly resigning because she is not extreme enough for the White House’s liking.”

On CBS This Morning, correspondent Major Garrett noted that “Nielsen’s been on the hot seat for many months” and has “received bipartisan criticism.” His report made sure to include a clip of far-left protesters screaming at Nielsen, while she was out to dinner in 2018, to “End family separation!”

Like his ABC and NBC colleagues, Garrett asserted: “Part of Nielsen’s legacy, implementing and defending the President’s zero-tolerance policy, mass incarceration of border crossers that led to family separations.”

While all media attention was focused on kicking Secretary Nielsen on her way out the door, little time was giving to holding Congress accountable for its inability to address illegal immigration. As Democrats were cited attacking the outgoing DHS chief, reporters gave liberal lawmakers a complete pass on the issue of border security.

Here are excerpts of the April 8 coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:02 AM ET

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: President Trump has forced out his Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen after a rocky 16 months. Targeted by critics for separating families at the border, by the President for not being tough enough. Our Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran starts us off from the White House. Good morning, Terry.

TERRY MORAN: Good morning, George. When the end came for Kirstjen Nielsen, it was sudden but not a surprise. For months President Trump had been openly berating Secretary Nielsen at cabinet meetings, pushing her to take more and more drastic measures to stop the flow of migrants at the southern border. She became the face of the toughest immigration policies in this country, including that family separation policy, in years. But all for naught, the migrants kept coming. And President Trump’s patience ran out.

(...)

MORAN: Nielsen will likely be best remembered for enforcing the President’s zero-tolerance policy, which resulted in the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families at the border. Some of whom are still trying to reunite. There’s no love lost for her from Democrats.

REP. DAVID CICILLINE [D-RI]: I’m talking about people who have died in your custody. You don’t have the number?

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN: Would you like me to answer the question or do you want to just yell at me? Because it’s up to you.

MORAN: But while some are saying good riddance. Others are now voicing concern over who will lead the agency next. And so, her legacy will be that many courts did find several of the major policies that Kirstjen Nielsen put in place to be unlawful. That certainly will be part of her legacy.

(...)        

Here are excerpts of the coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:03 AM ET

(...)

HALLIE JACKSON: Secretary Nielsen, we’ve learned, will stay on the job officially until Wednesday to help with the transition as her tumultuous tenure inside President Trump’s cabinet comes to an end after months of tension and controversy.

A new era this morning inside one of the administration’s most high-profile agencies, with embattled Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out at the Department of Homeland Security. Multiple sources tell NBC News President Trump had grown frustrated with Nielsen’s tenure as secretary, giving her the opportunity to resign after a meeting at the White House Sunday night. The President tweeting a perfunctory thanks for Nielsen’s service. In her resignation letter, Nielsen writing she hopes “the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders.”

Her departure coming just two days after she accompanied President Trump to the southern border Friday. Nielsen had become the face of the President’s most controversial immigration decisions, publicly defending, for example, the separation of families along the border last summer.

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN: We never had a policy for family separation. What we did do was we applied the law equally to anybody who broke it.

JACKSON: She and the President have had a rocky relationship for nearly a year, with Nielsen dogged by incessant rumors she was on the way out.

(...)

JACKSON: Although the number of overall undocumented immigrants crossing the border is down from its peak two decades ago. A record number of families and unaccompanied minors are now trying to enter the U.S. Allies of the President have been urging a more hardline approach privately and publicly. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi overnight saying, “It is deeply alarming that the Trump administration official who put children in cages is reportedly resigning because she is not extreme enough for the White House’s liking.”

(...)

Here are excerpts from the coverage on CBS This Morning:

7:04 AM ET

(...)

MAJOR GARRETT: Nielsen’s been on the hot seat for many months. The President almost made this move in December. In addition to the scrutiny she received from President Trump, Nielsen also received bipartisan criticism.

DONALD TRUMP: We’re going in a tougher direction.

GARRETT: Signs of the coming shakeup at DHS emerged last week after President Trump pulled the nomination of Ron Vitiello to be the new leader of ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN: Congress and the courts created this problem and Congress alone can fix it.

GARRETT: Announcing her resignation, Nielsen tweeted, “I hope that the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws and which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse.” Nielsen never persuaded Congress to implement the President’s push for new immigration laws. As migrant flows increased, so did the President’s frustration with Nielsen.

Before her ouster, Nielsen estimated 100,000 apprehensions along the southwest border in March, far larger than in previous years.

NIELSEN: Walls work, and where we have them, we are blocking illegal aliens from getting into our country.

GARRETT: Nielsen’s tenure at DHS lasted just over 16 months. Before that, she briefly served as the deputy to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly while he was at the Department of Homeland Security.

PROTESTERS SHOUTING [METRO DC DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS, JUNE 19, 2018]: End family separation!

GARRETT: Part of Nielsen’s legacy, implementing and defending the President’s zero-tolerance policy, mass incarceration of border crossers that led to family separations.

NIELSEN: We are talking about 2,000 children that resulted from their parents choosing to break the law.     

(...)    

NBDaily Immigration Conservatives & Republicans ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Terry Moran Hallie Jackson Major Garrett Kirstjen Nielsen

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