With the ouster of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, the floodgates have opened and the horrifying truth about what went on behind the scenes at the Department of Homeland Security is finally reaching the public — and it paints a deeply disturbing portrait of an agency locked in constant battle with both the law and with basic human empathy.
A new report from CNN’s Jake Tapper has made it clear that the President’s obsession with immigration and the southern border reached a dangerous breaking point over the past few weeks.
It appears that his advisors were forced to keep him from throwing the economy and our international relations into chaos as Trump attempted to order the border crossing at El Paso closed.
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When informed that all this would do would shut down legal trade and traffic between the United States and Mexico, the president spitefully complained that he “didn’t care,” too fixated on getting his way and appearing strong than to be bothered with anything so petty as “consequences.”
While acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney managed to talk him down, the President’s reckless behavior didn’t stop there. Last week, during his visit to Calexico, he ordered Border Patrol agents to break the law and simply refuse to allow asylum-seeking migrant entry.
The president then ordered them to lie to a judge if challenged on the decision: “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.”
His utter disregard for the law didn’t stop there. The clash which likely led to Nielsen’s ouster was her refusal to reinstate the family separation policy due to court challenges and advised against it due to the public relations disaster it would inevitably be — but Trump didn’t care about that either. “He just wants to separate families,” said one senior administration official.
The president’s behavior has grown increasingly erratic over the past few weeks, and though we may have grown numb to his antics after two years of being relentlessly pummeled with his bullshit, we cannot let this one simply get lost in the constantly churning waves of the 24-hour news cycle, spun around for a few hours before being displaced by the next nugget of madness and spite that the president idly tosses into the rapids like chum to the fish.
All of the things described in this story should absolutely be impeachable offenses. The president of the United States is suborning perjury and ordering his team to break the law as part of his personal crusade to traumatize and dehumanize asylum seekers. It is a violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution and is clear evidence that he has no compunction about violating the law whenever it suits him. But it appears that there’s nothing he can do that would provoke a response or any kind of criticism from the Republicans that control the Senate, too intent on rewriting the rules in their chamber to subvert the judiciary in their own twisted fashion.
Up to this point, the fear of federal prison and a desire to have a career after leaving the White House apparently has restrained the president’s worst impulses — but now with white supremacist Stephen Miller calling the shots at America’s department of racism and ethnic cleansing, all bets are off.
The darkest period of the Trump administration may still be yet to come.