The Senate Republicans raise red flags over the purification at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the apparent rise of White House Adviser Stephen Miller.
GOP senators publicly and privately publish their concerns and praise outgoing secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Kirstjen Michele NielsenTrump says he does not plan to restart family separations at the border. Hillens 1
Shakeup at DHS is increasing tensions between Republicans and especially Miller, whose influence seems to grow. Known for his conservative views and work as an employee of Sen. Jeff Sessions Jefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHow Trump could take pot legalization away from Dems in 2020 Stephen Miller's influence increases with changes in the DHS NEW columnist Frank Bruni: Working for Trump as an "acid bath" MORE (R-Ala.), The 33-year-old White House is aide to the right of several Republican senators on immigration.
"I hope he has more votes than the one in his ear on these issues, yes, I think it's important that he get a whole perspective and a number of opinions," said Sen. John Thune John Randolph ThuneLegislation slowly crawls into split Washington Hillicon Valley – presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry – House panel approves bill restores net neutrality | The FTC asks for more help from the police tech | The Senate panel bills bill aimed at illegal robocalls Cruz: "devastating" if Trump closes the border between the US and Mexico MORE (SD), the 2nd Senate Republican.
The pressure on who else the president should also listen to, Thune added with a chuckle, "some of them are now gone."
late. John Cornyn John CornynGOP says disaster relief negotiations have declined The Morning Report – Fallout after Trump triggers top DHS officials GOP fears Trump returns to family separations MORE (Texas), member of GOP leadership, Miller said seems to be "the guy behind the curtain."
"I think what we need is a consistent message because I think there are some voices in the White House working against this message and in particular, creating more problems for the administration by losing leading leadership, "Cornyn said when asked if he had concerns about Miller's growing influence.
The musical chairs on DHS and wider concerns that the department could move to the right of immigration are not the first time Miller has triggered ire from the Senate Republicans. He has had a hand in some of the most controversial policies of the White House.
And before he fought the 2013 eight immigration bill that died in the GOP-controlled House.
Reports that Miller wants to perform Lee Cissna, head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), are in conflict with Sen. Chuck Grassley Charles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHillens Morning Report – Fallout after Trump triggers top DHS officials TV biz combats Trump drug pricing rule Grassley warns Trump is pulling the rug from & # 39; during immigration officials MERE (R-Iowa). The GOP Senator called Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney John (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDems calls for Trump officials' decision not to defend ObamaCare Never & # 39; Comes tomorrow, and also Trump's tax returns Mnuchin tells Congress It is too early & # 39; to talk about the Trump Return Decision MEERE this week to hold the case to hold Cissna, a former Grassley employee and Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, who is the head of politics and strategy at the USCIS and previously worked for Grassley at the Senate Court of Justice.
"I know Cissna well. I know Kathy Kovarik well. They are qualified people. They're good to the president," Grassley said. "I heard they would be rejected and it annoyed me."
Grassley added that he could "be suspicious" of Miller's intentions; However, he had only heard a "rumor" of Miller's involvement in additional senior staff changes at DHS.
But Grassley also questioned Miller's ability to advise Trump on immigration.
"I don't know if he's been an effective counselor to the president," Grassley said.
Concern about Miller's ascent comes after Trump announced that Nielsen would leave, and after the White House pulled Ron Vitiello's nomination to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a decision it has mystified lawmakers.
On Tuesday, the administration fired concerns that Nielsen's exit signaled the start of a major reorganization on DHS, which for some months has been frustrating in the White House.
Trump ruined Tuesday at. The idea that he is trying to introduce extensive staff changes, says to White House reporters, "I never said I was cleaning houses."
A senior administration official later reiterated the President's position, but does not exclude additional staffing changes.
There has been "a lot of misinformation about why things are changing," said the official, adding that there are ongoing concerns about DHS and USCIS concerns, "although it is not to say that situations cannot be rehabilitated."
The back-to-back movements have increased speculation that Trump is trying to shake his team in the midst of anger over the tip of immigrant families crossing the southern border. Trump established immigration rhetoric and pledges to build a border wall at the heart of his campaign in 2016, but his proposal has run into obstacles both on Capitol Hill and in the courts.
Sen. Ron Johnson (Ron) Harold JohnsonThe Hills Morning Report – Fallout after Trump's Abandoned Top DHS Officials GOP Fears Trump Returns to Family Separations Senate Homeland Security President listens alarm over & # 39; management voids & # 39; at DHS MORE (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said he reached Mulvaney this week to raise concerns about DHS.
"I have publicly expressed my concern about the growing leadership void and also the growing number of people performing their duties in a working capacity. But he told me that the intention is to name the nominees and get them to go through the verification process , "Johnson said, referring to his talk with Mulvaney.
He added that Mulvaney did not clarify reports that Miller and others are trying to force additional DHS officials, but that it was his impression that Trump "was not necessarily satisfied" about the department's direction.
"There may be more staff changes, but again I think it's more driven by who New Secretary would want in those positions," Johnson said.
GOP senators have been full of praise for Nielsen, who was confirmed in the Senate at the end of 2017 in a 62-37 vote.
Cornyn said he reached Nielsen to thank her for her work and added that she had been "put through the caller."
"Churn is not useful for [Trump] or for DHS," Cornyn said. "It creates more churning and it requires more oxygen from the environment."
Sen. John Kennedy John Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) Defended Trump's ability to replace his cabinet officials, but the torn white house staff he said had offered "classless" "anonymous" attacks on Nielsen after her termination was announced.
"Secretary Nielsen left … And then anonymous sources from the White House, White House staff, cut the secretary into pieces. I don't think it was right," Kennedy said. "I think the staff who made it to the secretary hurt their boss and I thought it was classless."
Jordan Fabian contributed.