DHS Secretary: ‘There Was a Time’ When I Had to Review Daily Death Threats Against DHS Employees

Melanie Arter | October 29, 2018 | 12:53pm EDT
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DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) – DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that at one point Department of Homeland Security employees were receiving death threats on a daily basis.

Fox News host Chris Wallace asked, “We've been talking in this program about the coarsening of our political discourse. During the height of the family separation controversy, you were at a restaurant where you are heckled as you ate in the restaurant and later protesters went to your home and blasted audio, of crying, migrant children outside your home.

“A couple of questions, Secretary, what those protesters did, do you think that was over the line? And what do you think -- do you think the president's rhetoric and politics have contributed to the growing incivility and rancor in our politics?” he asked.

“I think that folks, you know -- first of all, to the extent that folks exercise their First Amendment rights, that is protected in our country but there is a line when those choose to use the First Amendment to incite violence, to incite disruption, rather than being constructive, that to have conversations that instead tear Americans apart, I do not support that,” Nielsen said.

“There was a time very recently Chris where I daily had to review myself, all of the death threats against the great men and women of the Department of Homeland Security who every day wake up to try to enforce the law and protect other Americans,” she said.



“There is an appropriate way to express your solutions, to express your ideas. I welcome them at all times, but these calls to violence, these calls to disruptions, are not effective, not productive and frankly they just contribute to additional deconstruction of our ability to work together,” the secretary said.

When asked what responsibility President Trump bears for the actions of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc, Nielsen said, “I think the president has made it extraordinarily clear that we will never allow political violence to take root in this country.

“I firmly believe in the First Amendment but anybody who uses the First Amendment as a cover to threaten or commit an act of violence will not be tolerated. There is no place for hate in this country. Hate is hate, violence is violence. We will do all we can at the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that such attacks are not perpetrated,” she said.


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