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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad 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."

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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 NielsenThe Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers MORE’s resignation that McAleenan was “very intelligent.”

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