Watch: Sen. Cory Booker Destroys Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Sen. Cory Booker (CNN via YouTube screenshot)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) went back into his mayor-of-Newark, N.J., bag to call out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday for her inability to remember whether the president had used the word “shitholes” to describe African and Latin American nations.

Nielsen, who was in the room during an immigration meeting that included the president as well as members of Congress, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she didn’t recall the president using the racist and derogatory remark.

An emotional Booker explained why the president’s comments were not only offensive and dangerous but also hurtful. He added that when the president of the United States spoke in such a way, it went against Martin Luther King Jr.’s credo that people be judged “by the content of their character”—as opposed to, say, their country of origin, Mother Jones reports.


“When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country,” Booker told Nielsen during a Department of Homeland Security oversight hearing. “Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.”

He added, “I receive enough death threats to know the reality.”

An emotional and impassioned Booker reminded Nielsen that she was under oath, but she continued to say that she didn’t recall the president making those comments.


Watch the exchange below:

Read more at Mother Jones.

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Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

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