After CBS News broke the story this afternoon that Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Neilsen was on her way to the White House to tender her resignation, President Trump confirmed the news as usual on Twitter rather than using standard White House press release procedures.
….I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2019
Neilsen also tweeted out her letter of resignation, proudly patting herself on the back for a job well done since no one else considers the caging of children a commendable accomplishment.
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Its been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of @DHSgov. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards. pic.twitter.com/lIQ5iqGDmF
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) April 7, 2019
The responses from citizens outraged by the authoritarian tactics employed by the Homeland Security Department under Neilsen’s tenure to both the president’s tweet and that of the now-former DHS Secretary demonstrated the extent of the partisan divide that the Trump administration’s white nationalist-inspired immigration policies have created.
While the usual group of Trump supporters — fed a steady diet of fear-mongering propaganda by Fox News — replied to Neilsen thanking her for her service, Americans horrified at the degradation of previously held values of compassion and the rule of law vilified her and called for her prosecution for crimes against humanity in the Court of International Justice.
Here’s a sample of the Twitter responses:
The reactions to President Trump’s tweet were similarly devastating.
Maybe your adderall benders were too much for her to handle? pic.twitter.com/HrBPIhUnnc
— Treason Stickers (@treasonstickers) April 7, 2019
Likely? Dude, you can be more positive than that! More like definitely, unless he has an aneurysm. #hopesandprayers
— Parker Lewis (@ANXI8T) April 7, 2019
She was horrific, straight out of the Third Reich and fit right into your Turd Reich. I fear the next person will be worse, if that's even possible. You are inhumane and demented. Resign.
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) April 7, 2019
Didn't jail enough children?
Wouldn't break enough laws?
Wouldn't authorize machine-gunning random migrants at the Tijuana border crossing?
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) April 7, 2019
Thank you, next. Now send Kirstjen Nielsen to The Hague to stand trial for stripping all these immigrant children from their families and throwing them into internment camps.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 7, 2019
She did your evil biddings. Is she leaving because she wasn't evil enough for you?
— Lynn Attison (@IamTheRealJoan) April 7, 2019
Low Nielsen rating
— Stan the Man (@StanClose) April 7, 2019
Breaking: The Ice Queen of family separation is separating from the Trump crime family.
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) April 7, 2019
CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond revealed a previously unreported tidbit about Neilen’s resignation that he received from a source close to the departing Secretary that puts to rest speculation about whether her exit was voluntary or not.
Nielsen was not planning to resign when she walked into her meeting with Trump today, but she was prepared for the possibility. Here is her resignation letter, per a source close to Nielsen: pic.twitter.com/ElyTiwbYuR
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 7, 2019
Diamond attaches a draft copy of her resignation letter that is dated exactly a year earlier, meaning either that Neilsen has been prepared for this eventuality for much longer than anyone knew or that her lack of attention detail was among the factors involved in her unceremonious departure.
While most people of conscience and decency will not mourn the exit of the woman overseeing the heartless separation of families without the organization to eventually reunite them, the prospect of Trump appointing someone even more willing to defy the nation’s duly-passed immigration laws is frightening in its eventuality.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.