Nielsen denies she's behind anonymous New York Times op-ed

Nielsen denies she's behind anonymous New York Times op-ed
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Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen denied Thursday that she was behind an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times that details efforts within the Trump administration to push back against the president’s impulses.

"Secretary Nielsen is focused on leading the men & women of DHS and protecting the homeland — not writing anonymous & false opinion pieces for the New York Times," Tyler Houlton, press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said in a statement.

"These types of political attacks are beneath the Secretary & the Department's mission," he added.

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Nielsen took over as head of DHS  after John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE left to serve as chief of staff in July 2017. She has endured criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE during her tenure over the administration's immigration policy, but he has publicly praised Nielsen in recent months.

Nielsen became the latest Cabinet official to distance themselves from the op-ed, joining Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Facebook co-founder calls for breaking up company | Facebook pushes back | Experts study 2020 candidates to offset 'deepfake' threat | FCC votes to block China Mobile | Groups, lawmakers accuse Amazon of violating children's privacy Experts are studying mannerisms of 2020 candidates to help offset threat of 'deepfake' videos Bolton held unexpected meeting on Iran with top intel, military advisers at CIA: report MORE.

The New York Times published the op-ed on Wednesday in which an anonymous senior administration official described coordinated efforts from staff to "thwart" Trump's worst instincts.

The official, whose identity is known to Times opinion editors, bashed the president's "amorality" and praised the work of "unsung heroes" who push back against him.

"We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous," they wrote. "But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic."

The op-ed set off immediate speculation over who the author could be.

Trump and the White House have ripped the Times for publishing the piece. The president called on the newspaper late Wednesday to turn the author over to the government for "national security purposes."