Categories for DHS

27,273. 8/7/2019

DHS/RACISM/TERRORISM/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN…‘Ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line,” a senior source involved in the discussion told CNN. That paragraph mentions “other forms of violent extremism, such as racially motivated extremism, animal rights extremism, environmental extremism, sovereign citizen extremism, and militia extremism.” It made no mention of white supremacists.”

Jake Tapper, “Exclusive: White House rebuffed attempts by DHS to make combating domestic terrorism a higher priority,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, August 7, 2019 7:38 pm

27,157. 8/2/2019

DHS/IMMIGRATION/STEPHEN MILLER/TRUMP PEOPLE: “White House senior adviser Stephen Miller wasn’t getting an immigration regulation he wanted. So he sent a series of scorching emails to top immigration officials, calling the department an ‘embarrassment’ for not acting faster. The regulation in question would allow the Department of Homeland Security to bar legal immigrants from obtaining green cards if they receive certain government benefits. The rule will likely be released in the coming days, according to a pair of current and former Trump officials briefed on the timeline. he emails, which POLITICO obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shed new light on how aggressively Miller has pressured the Department of Homeland Security to move faster on regulations to limit immigration. Critics say the new rule will be used to shore up Trump’s political base in the coming election year, and that it’s an illegitimate tool to reduce legal immigration. One former Trump official said Miller has maintained a ‘singular obsession’ with the public charge rule, which he’s argued would bring about a transformative change to U.S. immigration.”

Ted Hesson, “Emails show Stephen Miller pressed hard to limit green cards,” Politico, August 2, 2019 4:19 pm

26,955. 7/26/2019

CENTRAL AMERICA/DHS/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The US signed an asylum agreement Friday [7-26-19] afternoon with Guatemala that could limit the ability of some Central American migrants to claim asylum in the US. The agreement, which President Donald Trump announced in the Oval Office, commits Guatemala to extend asylum to migrants who seek it when they’re moving through the country. Migrants who still decide to journey to the US to claim asylum will be returned to Guatemala, according to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan…Friday’s agreement is a show of cooperation between the two countries, as they’ve done numerous times before, on the heels of the President’s frustrations with the Guatemala for not moving pressing forward with a ‘safe-third’ agreement. Earlier this month, the US appeared close to signing a safe-third country agreement with Guatemala. But Guatemala’s Constitutional Court blocked the Guatemalan president from signing the agreement.”

Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands, “US signs asylum agreement with Guatemala,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, July 26, 2019 6:17 pm

26,700. 7/18/2019

BORDER/DHS/FAMILY SEPARATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings slammed acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and border conditions during a dramatic congressional hearing Thursday [7-18-19], at one point asking if the department has an ‘empathy deficit.’ Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, demanded ‘improvement’ in a heated exchanged with McAleenan. After McAleenan said they were ‘doing our level best,’ Cummings interrupted and raised his voice: ‘What does that mean? What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower?Come on, man. What’s that about? None of us would have our children in that position. They are human beings.’ The back and forth was indicative of the frustration held among lawmakers and the department amid deteriorating conditions at the border…Later in the hearing, McAleenan said he would ‘go back and redo’ the zero-tolerance policy if he could, saying the policy played a role in the department losing the public trust.”

Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands, “Chairman Cummings erupts at acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan over family separation,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, July 18, 2019 5:06 pm

26,646. 7/17/2019

DHS/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States is — by far — one of the most heavily visited countries in the world. In 2018, nearly 80 million people visited the U.S., pumping over $1 trillion into its economy. Most business travelers and tourists are allowed to stay anywhere from 90 days to six months before returning home. While the vast majority do just that, a few never actually leave. They become ‘overstayers,’ and although it’s a tiny percentage of visa-holders — less than 2 percent —the numbers add up pretty quickly. According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 700,000 people overstayed their visas last year. While many eventually leave, the aggregate numbers add up: It’s estimated that half of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are visa overstayers. They didn’t cross the border illegally; they arrived legally but then just did not go home when they were supposed to. Overstayers don’t get nearly the attention that illegal border-crossers do, but they amount to such a big chunk of the undocumented- immigrant population that they shouldn’t be ignored in the immigration debate.”

Martin L. Oppus, “Why Trump’s immigration bonds proposal won’t work,” Politico, July 17, 2019 5:08 am

26,547. 7/13/2019

DHS/OBAMA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “RT @thehill: Former Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned that decriminalization would attract hundreds of thousands of new…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 13, 2019 6:45 am

26,412. 7/10/2019

BUDGET/DHS/HOLIDAY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump’s July Fourth event and protests surrounding it cost the Washington government approximately $1.7 million and drained the city’s fund for security, according to Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser. The Emergency Planning and Security Fund will be depleted before the end of the 2019 fiscal year and will stand more than $6 million over budget, Bowser said in a letter to the President on Tuesday [7-9-19], citing recent estimates by the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Bowser requested that the Trump administration commit to fully reimbursing the fund, which provides for public safety at events in DC and response support to terrorist threats or attacks in the district, and accommodates requests from the US Secret Service…On Thursday [7-11-19], Bowser told CNN’s John Berman on ‘New Day’ that ‘our experience in working with the White House over several administrations is that the White House pays its bills’ and that if the fund isn’t replenished, the city ‘will either be able to provide less support for upcoming events”’ or be forced to ask DC taxpayers to pay off the debt.”

Kate Sullivan, “DC mayor says Trump’s July 4th bash drained city budget for security,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, July 10, 2019 8:50 am

26,301. 7/5/2019

CITIZENSHIP/DHS/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP BUSINESS: “After months of silence, President Trump responded on Friday [7-5-19] to reports that the Trump Organization has employed dozens of undocumented immigrants by saying that he doesn’t know whether the organization does or not…The New York Times first reported in December that Victorina Morales, a Guatemalan undocumented immigrant, and several others living in the country unlawfully, had been employed at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., where Mr. Trump was heading on Friday. Many undocumented workers at other Trump properties, including resorts in Philadelphia, Westchester County, N.Y., and Jupiter, Fla., have come forward since then and said they were also employed using phony Social Security numbers and green cards. After the revelations, the Trump Organization said that it had begun to use E-Verify, an electronic verification system that checks documents provided by new hires against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security records to identify fakes, at all properties.”

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Miriam Jordan, “‘I Don’t Run It’: Trump Responds to Reports of Undocumented Workers at His Properties,” The New York Times online, July 5, 2019

26,235. 7/3/2019

BORDER/DEMS/DHS/ICE/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump said on Wednesday [7-3-19] that migrants were ‘living far better’ in Border Patrol detention centers than in their home countries, one day after his own administration reported that children in some facilities were denied hot meals or showers, and that cells were so crowded that migrants begged to be freed. In a series of posts on Twitter, Mr. Trump criticized Democrats who this week visited Border Patrol facilities in Texas, and reported that migrants had been forced to drink from a toilet. Customs and Border Protection officials have disputed that claim…Mr. Trump’s statements followed weeks of public backlash over allegations about the care of migrants who are held in Border Patrol facilities. Last month, a team of lawyers who spoke to migrants at a holding center in Clint, Tex., said children did not have access to soap or showers. The Democratic lawmakers said the asylum seekers were kept in cells without running water and slept on concrete. On Tuesday [7-2-19], the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general backed some of those findings in a report on conditions in detention centers in the Rio Grande Valley. ”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “Trump Says Migrants Are ‘Living Far Better’ in Overcrowded Border Facilities,” The New York Times online, July 3, 2019 

26,137. 6/28/2019

BORDER/DHS/IMMIGRATION/MEXICO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Friday [6-28-19] that it appears there will be a 25% decrease in June in numbers of migrants crossing at the US-Mexico border. More than 144,000 migrants had been encountered or arrested at the US-Mexico border in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years. McAleenan credited Trump administration initiatives, especially the increase in interdictions by Mexico over the past three weeks and the return of some asylum seekers to Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceeds, a program McAleenan says is being expanded. That program, however, is being fought in court, including by a union representing asylum officers which opposes the initiative. A dip in border crossings is common during the hot summer months, though McAleenan downplayed the role of seasonal trends in migration, saying that he expects to be able to tell by late July if these initiatives will have a sustained impact. Over recent months, there’s been a dramatic spike in apprehensions at the southern border, particularly of families and unaccompanied minors — overwhelming the administration and prompting a request for emergency funding to the border.”

Priscilla Alvarez, “Administration forecasts 25% decrease in migrant apprehensions at US-Mexico border in June,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 28, 2019 4:54 pm

25,996. 6/25/2019

BORDER/DHS/ICE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Turmoil intensified on Tuesday [6-25-19] inside the agency responsible for securing the country’s borders as a top official was replaced by an immigration hard-liner and former Fox News contributor who last week pushed for nationwide raids to deport undocumented families. That hard-liner, Mark Morgan, will take over as the head of Customs and Border Protection, administration officials said Tuesday. The move again overhauls leadership at the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for cybersecurity, disaster relief and the enforcement of customs, border and immigration law, just two months after a purge of officials destabilized the agency…The White House in recent months has installed multiple officials at the department who have gone on television to support Mr. Trump’s more aggressive immigration policies, using certain officials to knock out others without any clear vision for homeland security. Each of the homeland security agencies responsible for enforcing immigration policy — Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services — is led by an acting official.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Maggie Haberman, “‘A Constant Game of Musical Chairs’ Amid Another Homeland Security Shake-,” The New York Times online, June 25, 2019

25,905. 6/20/2019

DHS/ICE/IMMIGRATION/LEGAL/MASSACHUSETTS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A federal judge in Massachusetts on Thursday [6-20-19] blocked federal authorities from making civil immigration arrests inside the state’s courthouses. District Judge Indira Talwani issued a preliminary injunction that blocks US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security ‘from civilly arresting parties, witnesses, and others attending Massachusetts courthouses on official business while they are going to, attending, or leaving the courthouse,” according to the court order. The order follows a lawsuit from Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, the Committee for Public Counsel Services — Massachusetts’ public defender agency, and advocacy group Chelsea Collaborative. It also comes after a Massachusetts judge and a former court officer were accused in April of helping a twice-deported undocumented defendant elude immigration authorities by slipping out a rear courthouse door.”

Kate Sullivan, “Massachusetts federal judge blocks ICE from making civil immigration arrests inside state’s courthouses,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 20, 2019 5:27 pm

25,850. 6/18/2019

DHS/ICE/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Immigration and Customs Enforcement in recent days has bulked up the branch responsible for carrying out deportations in preparation for the mass arrests of undocumented immigrants, two Department of Homeland Security officials said on Tuesday [6-18-19], adding that the agency could not immediately deport “millions of illegal aliens” as President Trump had promised the night before. Senior ICE officials, many of whom were blindsided by Mr. Trump’s tweet, have signaled for weeks that the agency would conduct raids targeting thousands of migrant families in homes and communities, something one of the homeland security officials confirmed on Tuesday was expected in the coming weeks. ICE has requested that agents in Homeland Security Investigations — the branch of the agency that conducts long-term investigations into human trafficking and drug smuggling — assist Enforcement and Removal Operations, which deports undocumented immigrants, according to the two homeland security officials.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear, “ICE Signals Mass Immigration Arrests, but Not the ‘Millions’ Trump Promised,” The New York Times online, June 18, 2019

25,240. 5/23/2019

BORDER/DHS/GOP/TRUMP PEOPLE/WALL: “President Donald Trump has ‘aggressively’ pushed for the Army Corps of Engineers to award a contract to a North Dakota-based construction company to build sections of his proposed wall along the southern US border, The Washington Post reported Thursday [5-23-19]. Citing conversations with multiple unnamed administration officials, the paper said the President has been pushing Department of Homeland Security leaders and Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers, to award a contract potentially worth billions of dollars to Fisher Industries, ‘whose top executive is a GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News.’ The Post said Trump’s push for the contract with Fisher, which is suing the federal government over its solicitation process for border wall contracts, ‘has alarmed military commanders and DHS officials.’ The President, who has ‘repeatedly’ lobbied on behalf of the company to officials, again brought it up on Thursday during an Oval Office meeting about the border wall with Semonite, the paper said. Trump, according to officials the Post spoke to, ‘immediately brought up Fisher’ during the meeting.”

Devan Cole, “Washington Post: Trump ‘aggressively’ pushing for GOP donor’s company to get border wall contract,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, May 23, 2019 10:46 pm

25,205. 5/22/2019

BORDER/CHILDREN/DEMS/DHS/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The House Homeland Security Committee broke out in a skirmish today after Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) accused the Trump administration of intentionally killing immigrant children at the border. Underwood’s comments — in which she said a recent string of child deaths were ‘intentional’ and a ‘policy change’ — came during the testimony of acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan…Republicans quickly jumped on Underwood’s comments, arguing that she violated House rules that prevent members from impugning a witness. After repeating her comments a second time, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) briefly gaveled out the committee amid protests. When the committee returned, it voted 9-7 to strike Underwood’s comments from the record. The controversy came two days after a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in custody near Hidalgo, Texas — the fifth migrant child to due in U.S. custody since December.”

Ian Kullgren, “Democratic congresswoman: Immigrant child deaths are ‘intentional’ Trump administration policy,” Politico, May 22, 2019 11:28 am

25,138. 5/21/2019

DHS/IMMIGRATION/NOMINATIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Trump is expected to name Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a former attorney general of Virginia and an immigration hard-liner, as his choice to coordinate the administration’s immigration policies, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday [5-21-19]. Mr. Trump has been considering creating an immigration ‘czar’ for months. But the specifics of Mr. Cuccinelli’s role — including his title and the scope of his duties — are still being hashed out, according to the official. And while the position was originally conceived of as a White House job, Mr. Cuccinelli is expected to be based in the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Cuccinelli met with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office on Monday, along with nearly a dozen other administration officials, including Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security. By Monday evening, Mr. Cuccinelli had begun placing calls to people to alert them that he expects to get the job, according to people familiar with the discussions.”

Maggie Haberman and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “Trump Expected to Pick Ken Cuccinelli for Immigration Policy Role,” The New York Times online, May 21, 2019

25,078. 5/17/2019

DHS/ICE/IMMIGRATION/STEPHEN MILLER/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Acting Homeland Security Director Kevin McAleenan threatened to step down this week if he did not get more authority over his agency in response to another attempt by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller to dictate agency hiring, The Washington Post reported Friday [5-17-19]. The clash highlights yet another instance of Miller causing tension with his far-reaching influence as a counselor on immigration matters to President Donald Trump. The private confrontation centered on Miller’s advice to Trump that he should pick Mark Morgan — whom Trump has named to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement — for commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, and keep current acting ICE Director Matthew Albence in his role, the paper reported. Three Trump administration officials told the Post that McAleenan informed senior White House officials that he, not Miller, leads the department and that he should have at least a hand in departmental hiring choices. McAleenan met with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, the officials said. One Trump aide described the internal turmoil surrounding the issue as akin to an ‘immigration knife fight.’”

Caroline Kelly, “Washington Post: Acting Homeland Security chief threatened to leave over Stephen Miller,” The New York Times online, May 17, 2019 10:48 pm 

24,795. 5/9/2019

BORDER/DHS/ICE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration will start piloting a Rapid DNA testing program at the US-Mexico border in an attempt to ‘identify and prosecute individuals posing as families,’ two Department of Homeland Security officials told CNN. The pilot will reportedly run for two to three days to ‘assess the usefulness of this technology in an investigative process,’ according to the acting deputy director of ICE. Questioning the justification for the DNA program is necessary, especially when the administration has the propensity to distort or misrepresent statistics, lodge claims about the border without clear evidence, and even lie. We must also recognize the DNA testing program for what it is: yet another attempt by the Trump administration to intimidate and deter asylum seekers. It miscasts individuals seeking asylum at the border as criminals. It builds off that narrative to conduct increasingly intrusive biometric tests on a vulnerable population. And it uses the pretext of the border to extend the government’s surveillance infrastructure. When forced, DNA collection raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns. ”

Vera Eidelman, “The dangers of the government’s DNA testing program,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, May 9, 2019 11:13 pm

24,711. 5/7/2019

COURTS/DHS/IMMIGRATION/MEXICO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A federal appeals court is allowing the Trump administration to continue returning some asylum seekers to Mexico for the duration of their immigration hearings, for now. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the administration can enforce the policy informally known as ‘Remain in Mexico’ pending appeal. The judges, though split on some issues, list a number of factors that went into the decision, including risk of injury in Mexico and negotiations between the US and Mexico…During oral arguments in late April, the three-judge panel — made up of two judges appointed by Democratic presidents and one appointed by a Republican — grappled with whether the policy should be allowed to continue, diving into technical matters and raising concerns about the process itself without providing much indication about where they stood on the policy overall. Judge Paul J. Watford, who had expressed skepticism about the process, relayed those concerns again in his concurring opinion. ‘In my view, DHS has adopted procedures so ill-suited to achieving that stated goal as to render them arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act,’ he writes, citing the fact that asylum seekers are not asked whether they fear returning to Mexico unless they bring it up themselves.”

Priscilla Alvarez, “Appeals court allows Trump’s policy of returning some asylum seekers to Mexico to continue for now,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, May 7, 2019 10:34 pm

24,443. 4/30/2019

DHS/GOP/SENATE/TRANSPORTATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday [5-1-19] over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast. The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver…In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security waived the requirement for one week to allow oil and gas operators to use often cheaper, tax-free, or more readily available foreign-flagged vessels to ensure enough fuel reached emergency responders during Hurricane Irma and following Hurricane Harvey.”

David Shepardson, “Trump to meet with Republican senators on U.S. shipping rules,” Reuters, April 30, 2019 1:11 pm

24,420. 4/29/2019

COURTS/DHS/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump is calling on top immigration officials to take steps that toughen and accelerate the process for seeking asylum in the United States. In a memo issued Monday [4-29-19] evening, Trump ordered the development of regulations to bar certain asylum seekers from obtaining work authorization, impose fees on applications, speed up court decisions and limit access to other forms of relief. The measures — framed as a response to a surge of migrants at the southwest border — would represent a further escalation of Trump’s hard-line immigration agenda. However, they will not immediately go into effect. Instead, the president called on the secretaries of the Homeland Security and Justice departments to ‘take all appropriate actions’ to implement the restrictive goals within 90 days. Still, the prospective regulations called for in Monday’s memo — if and when they are issued — will almost certainly face court challenges. The Trump administration has experimented with a range of policies to discourage the arrival of Central American families and children at the border, but without much discernible success.”

Ted Hesson and Wesley Morgan, “Trump calls for changes to toughen path to asylum,” Politico, April 29, 2019 6:53 pm

24,378. 4/26/2019

DHS/ELECTION/FBI/INTELLIGENCE/ROBERT MUELLER/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The F.B.I. director warned anew on Friday [4-26-19] about Russia’s continued meddling in American elections, calling it a ‘significant counterintelligence threat.’ The bureau has shifted additional agents and analysts to shore up defenses against foreign interference, according to a senior F.B.I. official. The Trump administration has come to see that Russia’s influence operations have morphed into a persistent threat. The F.B.I., the intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security have made permanent the task forces they created to confront 2018 midterm election interference, senior American national security officials said…Mr. Wray’s warnings came after the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, laid out in hundreds of pages of detail the interference and influence campaign carried out by Russian operatives in the 2016 election. While American officials have promised to continue to try to counter, block and weaken the Russian intelligence operations, they have complained of a lack of high-level coordination. President Trump has little interest or patience for hearing about such warnings, officials have said.”

Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman, “F.B.I. Warns of Russian Interference in 2020 Race and Boosts Counterintelligence Operations,” The New York Times online, April 26, 2019

24,346. 4/25/2019

BORDER/DHS/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The new Department of Homeland Security Request for Assistance for additional US troops and other logistical support on the southern border has been sent to the Pentagon but has yet to be signed by acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, according to two US defense officials. The request arrived late Wednesday [4-24-19] and is being reviewed. There are no guarantees that all the requests will be approved, and the Department of Defense has previously rejected requests, pending DHS edits. At the Pentagon last Friday, Shanahan told reporters he did not ‘have a finite number’ in terms of how many additional troops would be sent but that the Pentagon was ‘looking at anticipating’ what DHS needs prior to the receipt of a formal request for assistance…Over the last year thousands of American troops ahve been deployed to the southern border. At its peak, some 5,900 troops were part of the border mission, which has involved surveillance, aviation support and the placement of concertina wire between ports of entry. Currently there are 3,000 active duty troops and 2,000 National Guard personnel deployed in support of border security.”

Ryan Browne and Kate Sullivan, “DHS request for more troops at the border is sent to the Pentagon,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 25, 2019 9:07 pm

24,304. 4/24/2019

DHS/ELECTION/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election. President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president. Ms. Nielsen left the Department of Homeland Security early this month after a tumultuous 16-month tenure and tensions with the White House. Officials said she had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity in the United States during and after the 2018 midterm elections — ranging from its search for new techniques to divide Americans using social media, to experiments by hackers, to rerouting internet traffic and infiltrating power grids. But in a meeting this year, Mick Mulvaney, the White House chief of staff, made it clear that Mr. Trump still equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory. According to one senior administration official, Mr. Mulvaney said it ‘wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.’”

Eric Schmitt, David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman, “In Push for 2020 Election Security, Top Official Was Warned: Don’t Tell Trump,” The New York Times online, April 24, 2019

24,303. 4/24/2019

DHS/ELECTION/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Attempted Russian interference in US public affairs has continued as Department of Homeland Security officials and senior leaders have alerted the White House about the risks ahead of the 2020 presidential election — but it was ‘like pulling teeth’ to get the White House to pay attention, a US government official told CNN Wednesday [4-24-19]. One reason for the difficulty, according to the official, is that ‘in general, senior White House staff felt it wasn’t a good idea to bring up issues related to Russia in front of the President’…The official noted that there have been one or two principals’ meetings before the midterm elections, as well as a press conference in which national security adviser John Bolton, then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone warned the public of election interference. The government official said DHS and other agencies made repeated requests to set up more Cabinet-level meetings on the subject and Bolton’s National Security Council rebuffed the requests.”

Jake Tapper and Jim Acosta, “’Like pulling teeth’ to get White House to focus on Russian election interference, official says,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 24, 2019 7:36 pm