Two of President Donald Trump's top advisers got into a heated exchange outside the Oval Office on Thursday (local time) as passions boiled over about how to handle illegal immigration, two sources familiar with the incident said.
According to Bloomberg, it was not clear if the president overheard the actual shouting, but he was informed of the dispute.
After the confrontation was reported, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement indicating that there are no hard feelings among the president's senior advisers.
A "zero tolerance" policy on border control has become the cornerstone of Trump's domestic political agenda, but sparked a mass public outrage after thousands of migrant families were separated at the border. The new numbers, which marked an 80 percent increase from July, are making the U.S. president highly critical of DHS and Nielsen's tactics, senior administration officials told Washington Post on Wednesday.
The two men also differed over how aggressively to push Central American countries to do more to discourage their citizens from seeking refuge in the United States.
Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that Nielsen was close to resigning after being criticized by Trump at a Cabinet meeting for what he said was her failure to secure USA borders. Kelly, a retired Marine general and former commander of U.S. Southern Command, which oversees military operations in Central and South America, has made the case that American aid is vital to helping the region cope with its drug and economic problems, thus preventing an even larger flood of migration to the United States. When he was asked to take over the White House in July 2017, his longtime aide Nielsen was tapped to replace him.
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