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Apr 09 2019

Everybody Out Of The Pool

Trump’s temper tantrum is continuing after he fired Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who told him he couldn’t arbitrarily keep immigrants from seeking asylum, separate children from their families and close the border. There are laws and treaties but Trump doesn’t like being told he can’t do what he wants to do. The man is pure evil and Nielsen is no saint.

The purge at DHS expanded on Monday with the ouster of United States Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles, a retired Marine Corps major general who was appointed to the post two years ago. The White House claimed that the decision was made before a March 28 incident in which a Chinese woman was arrested at Mar-a-Lago without an invitation, touching off security concerns. In typical Trump style, Trump had mocked General Alles

The president had soured on Mr. Alles a while ago, even making fun of his looks, calling him Dumbo because of his ears, two officials said.

Despite the denials that his firing was not related to the Mar-a-Lago security breach, the NY Times reported that it was most likely related to the breach.

After Zhang’s arrest, the Secret Service issued a statement that said that they couldn’t control who Trump lets into his private club.

The fight to secure Mar-a-Lago has been a source of tension between Trump and the Secret Service for at least a year.

The Secret Service didn’t make a mistake in the Zhang case, but Trump wants a Secret Service director who will not try to keep his properties secure. Randolph Ailes is out as Secret Service Direct possibly because he wanted better security at Trump’s properties.

The Secret Service spoke out about the security issues at Mar-a-Lago and the result was Trump trashing national security to likely place one of his own loyalists in charge. Ailes was also fired because he was loyal to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, but never underestimate the fact that competence and following the law are traits that will always be punished by Donald Trump.

Let me say this, it is unprecedented for the Secret Service to make any statement about their operations, especially, about the security of the president.

We learned today more DHS leadership heads are about to follow:

Government officials, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel changes before they were announced, said at least two to four more high-ranking figures affiliated with Ms. Nielsen were expected to leave soon, too, hollowing out the top echelon of the department managing border security, presidential safety, counterterrorism, natural disasters, customs and other matters. [..]

The latest shuffle came just a day after Mr. Trump pushed out Ms. Nielsen for not doing enough in his view to secure the border and three days after Ronald D. Vitiello, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was told to step aside so the administration could go in a “tougher direction,” as Mr. Trump put it.

Officials said they expect to see the departures of L. Francis Cissna, the head of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, one of his top deputies; and John Mitnick, the department’s general counsel and a senior member of Ms. Nielsen’s leadership team. All of them were said to be viewed by Mr. Miller as obstacles to implementing the president’s policies.

The White House is also pressing for the resignation of Claire Grady, the acting deputy secretary, who under law would normally fill in for Ms. Nielsen. Mr. Trump has already announced that he will install Kevin K. McAleenan, the Customs and Border Protection commissioner, as Ms. Nielsen’s acting replacement, which he cannot do if Ms. Grady remains in place.

The latest moves appeared to be a housecleaning of officials associated with John F. Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff and his first homeland security secretary, who was pushed out at the end of last year after months of tension with Mr. Trump.

We all know that Trump is not wily enough to have orchestrated these firing. So who is behind this Machiavellian plot to destroy this massive government department? The real brains behind this is none other than arch-villain and Trump policy advisor, Stephen Miller

The iconoclastic hard-line young conservative policy aide to President Donald Trump, hated by the left, and celebrated by the extreme right, is the obvious winner in the power struggle that led to Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster Sunday night as Homeland Security secretary.

Miller has unofficially taken the reins of border security amid a purge at the department that has also seen Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles removed from his job and Trump’s pick to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Ron Vitiello, yanked.

The Department of Homeland Security, a sprawling agency charged with defending the nation at home, does not have Senate-confirmed officials in the roles of secretary, deputy secretary, ICE chief, Secret Service director or inspector general. When Kevin McAleenan, who has been tapped to take over Nielsen’s job on a temporary basis, moves into his new digs, there won’t be a Senate-confirmed leader at Customs and Border Protection, either.

Miller has always had a strong hand in the administration’s internal wars over immigration policy, but now there’s no one left to fight him. [..]

Her (Nielsen) departure comes as Trump is turning hard toward the Miller playbook, which is full of take-no-prisoners policies and rhetoric that demonizes immigrants. If Trump is unable to bend Congress, his own administration, other countries and immigrants to his will, he’ll be sure to tell his immigration-obsessed base that he only failed because he didn’t have enough power. And he’ll ask for more in the form of another term, more Republican members of Congress and the ability to appoint a new slew of conservative judges to federal courts.

That’s the Miller way, and Trump has little choice politically but to follow it after alienating liberals and moderates with his immigration policy so far.

Steve M., his blog, No More Mister Nice Blog, has Miller pegged and a way to stop him if the mainstream media would cooperate:

Miller might be the most frightening Trump subordinate. But he could be stopped. Here’s how.

Miller is skilled at remaining in the shadows. Over the past couple of years, he’s done TV interviews and other public appearances when President Trump wanted him to, but he doesn’t court the press. You don’t read a lot of feature stories about Miller. In the early days of the administration, he was frequently paired with another Stephen, Steve Bannon — they were both racists who wanted to make big changes. But Bannon loved to talk to reporters, telling them, in effect, that he was the brains of the outfit, and trash-talking people he shouldn’t have trash-talked. He got canned. Miller kept his mouth shut and is still around.

If the press were to begin writing big stories about Miller, especially stories calling him “the real president of the United States” (which, at this moment, he seems to be), Trump would be mightily peeved. It would especially offend Trump if Miller were to show up on the cover of Time, or some other legacy magazine. (Are there any others that are on Trump’s radar? New York magazine? The New York Times Magazine?) Trump would feel upstaged. He’d be furious. Miller would, at the very least, be moved to Trump’s doghouse, if not to the dead-man-walking category that precedes all defenestrations in this White House.

Miller seems too shrewd to cooperate with writers seeking to do big feature stories. But they could be done without access, using a little … what’s the word for it? — journalism. This would be a service to the country, because Miller is a dangerous person who should not be working for the U.S. government.

Unless something catastrophic happens and Congress wakes up to its responsibilities to reign this out of control psychopath and his minions, it’s going to be a rough ride to January 20, 2021, or the worse.