Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Didn’t Deserve Bullying by Senator Cory Booker

During a congressional hearing yesterday, Democratic Senator Cory Booker took a hostile tone in a line of questioning of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Booker slammed Nielsen for how she answered questions about a meeting with President Trump on immigration. Booker said:

“When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity."

Booker also lectured Nielsen on how she should feel:

“When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears of rage when I heard about this experience in that meeting,” Booker said. “And for you not to feel that hurt and that pain and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues . . . when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now because they’re worried about what happened in the White House. That’s unacceptable to me.”

Questioning the DHS secretary as part of the hearing is not the issue, but Booker was condescending and his behavior went over a line of respect. He also challenged Nielsen’s qualification for the job.

Nielsen is the first DHS employee to rise to the rank of department secretary. From chairing the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience to a Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, Nielsen brings over two decades of experience with disaster response, cybersecurity, and border and immigration issues in the public and private sector. In 2016, Security Magazine named her among the year’s “Most Influential People in Security.”

Some are calling Booker’s comments “mansplaining,” but it’s a disappointing and unacceptable example of partisanship, especially against a woman in the Trump Administration. 

 

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