Trump ICE director nominee called administration 'heartless' for forcing him out: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE’s nominee for head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) previously blasted his ouster as head of Border Patrol in 2017 as “heartless and void of any decency,” Axios reported on Sunday.

In January 2017 emails acquired by Axios, then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told then-acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who is now acting Homeland Security secretary, that the administration’s push for him to leave immediately was “heartless and void of any decency and compassion."


In other emails to McAleenan, Morgan wrote, "I am being removed in the name of politics — and politics at its worst. … I will not have them believe I willingly left under these circumstances" and "This is wrong on many levels. I have several questions but I need to process through a bit more."

No official reason was given for Morgan’s removal at the time, nor is it mentioned in the emails, but the National Border Patrol Council, the border patrol union, called him insufficiently experienced for the job. Morgan was the first Border Patrol chief to have been appointed to the position without ever having worked as a Border Patrol agent.

A source told Axios that the union’s president, Brandon Judd, had told President Trump to remove Morgan in January 2017. Since Trump’s nomination of Morgan for head of ICE, Judd has been more complimentary, telling Politico that Morgan's experience with the FBI made him a good choice.

Morgan himself has spent the two years since his firing praising Trump’s Border Patrol policies on TV and in congressional testimony and endorsing McAleenan as DHS head, telling Fox after Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenActing DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report MORE’s resignation that McAleenan was “very intelligent.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.