Donald Trump and Kevin McAleenan, his acting Homeland Security secretary, are at odds over a previously planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid that was supposed to take place over the weekend.
McAleenan tried to call off the raid when it was in its planning stages two weeks ago, a source familiar with the situation told Fox News, but Trump ordered ICE acting Director Mark Morgan to continue with the deportations and arrests as scheduled.
On Saturday, the president ended up calling off the raids, which were planned to take place Sunday. He made the announcement on Twitter just a day after a call with House Speaker Nancy Pelsoi and a few hours after he defended the move in a different tweet.
Trump said he wanted to give those in Congress the chance to reach a bipartisan agreement on how to deal with the crisis at the southern border and address the ‘Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.’ He said he was postponing the raids for another two weeks.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is being accused of leaking the information about an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid that was supposed to take place on Sunday
The ICE raid was planned in about 10 cities and would have targeted more than 2,000 families that were evading the law
President Trump ended up calling off the raids, saying a day after a call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he wanted to give Congress more time to reach a bipartisan way to deal with the ‘Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border’
The raid was in its planning stages since April, before McAleenan was brought to replace former acting director Ron Vitiello. McAleenan has been opposed to the plans ever since he was made aware of them.
The source said he told Morgan to ‘stand down,’ despite Trump telling him to continue moving forward. The arrests and deportations were expected to target at least 2,00 families in up to 10 cities – including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles – and Trump said it was targeting those who were dodging the law.
Last week the plans for the raid were leaked and the Washington Post published an extensive story with details of the plans, citing ‘U.S. officials familiar with the operation. McAleenan is accused of being the one who released them due to his fierce opposition.
‘He is the one that wanted to make sure this operation did not go forward,’ the source told Fox of McAleenan. ‘He has been fighting this operation since its inception.’
Just 48 hours before the story was published, McAleenan traveled on a government plan with the author of the Post piece, Nick Miroff.
‘To have somebody within DHS leak this information that would have put the general public, as well as our officers in danger—that is one of the most egregious leaks I have ever seen in my life,’ the source said.
The source also noted in regards to Trump calling of the raid that ‘you can’t go forward with an operation once everyone knows the time, the place, the details. ICE officers and other law enforcement would have been put directly in harm’s way.’
Pelosi said Monday that in a phone call with Trump Friday she told the president he’s ‘scaring the children of America’
Tom Homan, the former head of ICE, said McAleenan is the only one who had anything to benefit from the raid being leaked
Former head of ICE, Tom Homan, also accused McAleenan of working against ICE operations and suggested he was behind the story.
‘You’ve got the acting secretary of Homeland Security resisting what ICE is trying to do,’ Homan said. ‘He does not support this operation, and I tell you what, if that’s his position, then he’s on the wrong side of this issue.’
‘This leak — which I know where the leak came from, I think we all know where the leak came from, that story only benefits one person — put these officers at greater risk of harm,’ Homan continued.
Pelosi took credit for Trump calling off the raids, claiming that she was able to reason with the president when she told him he was ‘scaring the children of America’ with plans to detain, arrest and deport people in mass at their homes.
‘When I spoke to the president, I said ”Look, I’m a mom, I have five kids, seven, nine grandchildren and children are scared,” Pelosi recalled her conversation with Trump during an event in New York hosted by Democratic Congresswoman Grace Meng.
”You’re scaring the children of America, not just in those families but their neighbors and their communities. You’re scaring the children,” she said she told him.