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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen doesn't directly deny resignation report

WASHINGTON -- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is pushing back against a report that she told colleagues she was close to resigning Wednesday after President Trump scolded her at a cabinet meeting. Nielsen issued a statement Thursday night, but it does not directly address the report or that she came close to resigning. 

Nielsen said Mr. Trump is "rightly frustrated"  that his administration has been prevented "from fully securing the border and protecting the American people" and she shares that frustration.

"The President is rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of Congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border and protecting the American people," Nielsen's statement said. "I share his frustration. Border security is the most basic and necessary responsibility of a sovereign nation. These are complex issues and I will continue to direct the Department to do all we can to implement the President's security-focused agenda. It is my great honor to represent the men and women of DHS who work every day to enforce our laws and secure our nation." 

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton posted on Twitter that the report is not accurate and Nielsen was not close to resigning.  

The New York Times reported Thursday that the president has growing increasingly angry with Nielsen over what he feels is the country's inability to adequately secure its border. According to the Times, Mr. Trump berated Nielsen in front of the entire cabinet on Wednesday.  

The Times reported that Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter but not submitted it. CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe noted Thursday that Nielsen would not be the first Trump administration official to express a desire to leave after being berated by Mr. Trump either by colleagues or in the Oval Office. 

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