In 1 Press Conference, Kirstjen Nielsen Just Beat Out Sarah Sanders for Most Hated Person in Trump’s White House

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen leaves after she briefed members of the press as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders looks on during a White House daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on June 18, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

President Mein Führer von SpankDat is excluded from the “most hated in the White House” game because he would win every time. Before Monday’s press conference with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on the youth internment camps—which used to be big-box department stores or warehouses before becoming makeshift youth prisons—Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka Suckabee, was the runaway winner for most hated member of the White House, partly because she’s the mouthpiece for a deplorable administration, but mostly because she’s deplorable.

It’s as if Nielsen decided that she was tired of the Morris Day of the Trump administration having all the fun and decided that she was going to pull her best Prince-singing-the-“Beautiful Ones”-in-Purple Rain to steal the crown, and she did.


In fact, Nielsen may have carved out a whole new asshole lane for herself and may have reserved her own cage in a big-box warehouse in hell after Monday’s press conference.

Nielsen didn’t just double down on the administration’s decision to rip children away from their parents at the U.S. border and throw them into cages; she played aloof at times, flippant at others, and completely disillusioned and uninterested during a highly emotional press conference.

When a reporter asked: “You have seen the photos of children in cages? Have you heard the audio clip of these children wailing that just came out today?” Nielsen feigned ignorance as if she didn’t know what the hell the woman was talking about.

“I have—I have not seen something that came out today, but I have been to detention centers and, again, I would reference you to our standards and I would reference you to the care provided, not just by the Department of Homeland Security but by the Department of Health and Human Services when they get to HHS,” the New York Times reports.


Must be nice to insert robotic, formulaic answers to human questions about humanity.

The same reporter pressed Nielsen further: “But is that the image of this country that you want out there—children in cages?”


Nielsen again doubled down on the administration’s belief that all drugs, crimes and violence come from Mexico, noting: “The image I want of this country is an immigration system that secures our border and upholds our humanitarian ideals. Congress needs to fix it.”

Except that this is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ no-tolerance policy that the administration is enforcing. This is the political game that Trump’s White House continues to perpetuate. Not only is it inhumane, but it’s a flat-out lie. The White House can fix this by simply stopping it, yet everyone in the White House continues to claim that it’s a congressional issue.


You can read the entire transcript from Nielsen’s press conference here, but I warn you that it’s triggering. Nielsen doesn’t stray from the company line that this is a congressional issue, and also refuses to answer whether this separation of children from their parents is a form of child abuse. Oh, and she has no idea where the girls and toddlers are located, since the photos provided to the press by the Trump administration show only boys. When a reporter asked Nielsen about the photos and where the girls were being kept, she claimed that she wasn’t familiar with the images. When that lie of “answering” didn’t work, she stated policy.

These are children we are talking about, and the Trump administration’s answer to ripping these kids away from their parents and placing them in jails where they sleep on mats on the floor under outer space blankets seems to follow these three steps:

  1. Blame Congress.
  2. Feign ignorance.
  3. Punt and then blame Congress again.

It’s maddening, and I didn’t think it was possible to outshine Suckabee, who might be the LeBron James of sucking, but in one press conference, Kirstjen Nielsen did her best to look like Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1989 NBA playoffs.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.