President Donald Trump has spent the last couple of days cleaning house at the Department of Homeland Security. He fired Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Lee Cissna, Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady, and General Counsel John Mitnick, and to boot removed Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles.
And according to Politico, among the people most blindsided by the president’s purge are top GOP senators.
“It’s a mess,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), who is standing for re-election this year. “Honestly, it wasn’t Secretary Nielsen’s fault. It wasn’t for lack of effort on her part. I don’t know if there’s anybody who’s going to be able to do more.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is horrified by the firing of Cissna, and the potential firing of USCIS strategist Kathy Nuebel Kovarik. “I heard that they are on the list to be fired. They are doing in an intellectual-like way what the president wants to accomplish. So no, they should not go.”
Speculation is rife that the firings are at the behest of White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, a notorious nativist hardliner who is frustrated with the relative lack of progress on sealing the border to migrants and refugees.