Secy. Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving, Trump tweets

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on Sunday amid the administration's growing frustration and bitterness over the number of Central American families crossing the southern border, two people familiar with the decision said.

The president confirmed publicly a report by CBS News that Ms. Nielsen had gone to the White House to resign late Sunday afternoon.

The departure announcement comes just days after Nielsen visited the U.S. -Mexico border in Calexio, California, with Trump.

Meanwhile, a a senior administration official told CNN's Jake Tapper that Nielsen "believed the situation was becoming untenable with the President becoming increasingly unhinged about the border crisis and making unreasonable and even impossible requests".

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen greets a member of the Border Patrol at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility in Harpers Ferry, W.V., March 13, 2019.

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Nielsen has faced a great deal of harassment as DHS secretary.

Arrests all along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months.

Trump said he wanted to go with someone "tougher" for the position. She was heckled in restaurants as the policy came under criticism. Nielsen served as Kelly's deputy when he joined the White House as chief of staff.

There have been persistent tensions between the White House and Nielsen nearly from the moment she became secretary, after her predecessor John Kelly became the White House chief of staff in 2017.

But at the agency that oversees border protection and immigration matters - Trump's signature issue - it was inevitable Nielsen would find herself in the President's crosshairs. Trump threatened to fire her and she previously considered resigning, but officials at the time recognized there were no obvious successors in place.

  • Sonia Alvarado