Two top advisers of US President Donald Trump got into an intense argument in the White House over Washington’s immigration policies, US media report.
The altercation occurred on Thursday over illegal immigration between White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and US National Security Adviser John Bolton, two sources familiar with the incident said.
One source described the argument as a “tense exchange” and that it involved the job performance of US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
Kelly was head of the US Department of Homeland Security before he was appointed by Trump as his Chief of Staff. Nielsen was a former deputy to Kelly at the department.
Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Nielsen was close to resigning after being harshly criticized by Trump at a Cabinet meeting for what he said was her failure to secure the US-Mexico border.
A source familiar with the clash said that although arguing is frequent in this divided White House, the fight between Kelly and Bolton startled several aides throughout and that the raised voices went well beyond the heated discussions of the Trump administration.
Trump threatened on Thursday to deploy the military and close the southern US border as Hondurans and Salvadorans joined thousands of migrants in Guatemala hoping to travel north to the US.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!’ Trump said in a tweet.
Trump has made his hard-line stance on immigration an integral part of his presidency and has promised to build a wall along the US-Mexican border to curb the flow of migrants from Mexico and Central America.