During her tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen was a ruthlessly loyal enforcer of President Donald Trump’s will, overseeing the “zero-tolerance” policy that ripped children from their families and then lying about it.
But according to the upcoming book “A Very Stable Genius,” by reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, Nielsen actually drew the line at one directive Trump gave her, which she told him was illegal: “Shutting down” the border.
Amid this refusal, according to Rucker and Leonnig, Trump “abused,” “harassed,” and “pestered” Nielsen about not being “tough enough” on immigration.
“In some instances, the volatile president was verbally and emotionally abusive toward Nielsen,” wrote Rucker and Leonnig. “‘Kirstjen, you’re just not tough enough,’ Trump would tell her. Trump complained Nielsen did not “look the part” of homeland security secretary. He made fun of her and believed that at about five feet four inches she was not physically intimidating. ‘She’s so short,’ Trump would tell others about Nielsen. She and Kelly would try to make light of it. Kelly would rib her and say, ‘But you’ve got those little fists of fury!’”