Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFar-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema — it won't work Ex-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides MORE is no longer scheduled to participate in a speaking event hosted by The Atlantic next week, the magazine announced Friday afternoon.
"I wanted to let everyone know that Kirstjen Nielsen's team has let us know that she is no longer able to participate in TAF [The Atlantic Festival]," wrote Margaret Low, president of AtlanticLive, in an email to staff obtained by The Hill. "We will relay this update to media and audiences this morning."
The Atlantic later announced Nielsen's withdrawal on Twitter.
We previously announced that we would be interviewing former DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen at @TheAtlanticFest next week. Nielsen's team has let us know that she is no longer able to participate in the interview.— The Atlantic Communications (@TheAtlanticPR) September 20, 2019
The move follows backlash from progressive groups, which took credit for Nielsen's decision to withdraw from the event slated to take place Sept. 24-26 in Washington, D.C.
"Public pressure from thousands of CREDO members and grassroots activists forced Kirstjen Nielsen to withdraw from the Atlantic Fest, which is a huge victory and should set a precedent for not putting profits over morals when it comes to Trump administration alumni," said Credo Action campaign director Nicole Regalado. "No one from Trump's administration should get a soft landing to sanitize their actions while supporting and pushing forward a white nationalist, fascist agenda."
Nielsen could not immediately be reached for comment.
In addition to outside pressure, several Atlantic staffers vehemently disagreed with the decision to invite Nielsen and pressured management to rescind the invitation, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
"The invitation was not rescinded, so that is 100 percent inaccurate," an Atlantic spokesperson told The Hill.
The spokesperson also referred back to the afternoon tweet announcing Nielsen's withdrawal.
Updated at 4:36 p.m.
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