According to former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor, Donald Trump constantly harassed former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during her tenure to set aside her duties in Washington, D.C., and make public appearances at the southern border with Mexico where his wall was being built.
Speaking with Politico, Taylor said officials in the department were put in the position of having to backburner reports of threats against the U.S. because the president wanted to see them out promoting his favorite immigration policy initiative.
As Taylor explained the president once told Nielsen, "Get your ass on TV at the border, what are you doing, what the hell are you doing?’”
The former official -- who endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday -- explained it was a waste of time to make TV appearances when there was important security issues to be dealt with.
“He would order us to go to the border so he could see us down there doing work,” he recalled. “Do you actually think Kirstjen and I are putting up the steel bollards? That was dispiriting, to say the very least."
"Taylor said the constant pressure from the White House to focus on immigration enforcement and border security kept senior DHS officials from focusing on other issues, including election security and cyber threats," the Politico report states.
“Quite literally there would be threat streams that we would read about in the PDB [President’s Daily Brief] and we’d be like, ‘Shit, we’ve got to spend the day on this!’ And the president would call and we’d be like, ‘Nope, not going to be able to spend the day on this because he’s focused on dah-dah dah-dah," Taylor confessed.
According to the report, Nielsen did not respond to questions about Taylor's claims.