According to a new book, Donald Trump grew increasingly angry after former Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen after she refused his request to shut down the southern border. The abuse and harassment was all verbal, with Trump allegedly telling Nielsen that she wasn’t tough enough, insulting her appearance and her height, and repeatedly berating her in front of other staff members. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Soon. A new book will be released called a very stable genius written by Washington post reporters, Philip Rucker and Carol Lennon. This book Chronicles the entire Trump administration up to this point, but, uh, from an obvious not Republican viewpoint, uh, one of the things that has now come out about this book from folks who have already gotten their hands on an advanced copy of it is a little part that talks about how Donald Trump berated, harassed, and abused his former Homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen. Now, what the book says happened and Donald Trump’s whole souring on Nielsen began when Nielsen told him long time ago, back when Jeff Sessions was still attorney general, that shutting down the Southern border completely, which Trump wanted to do. She told him that was illegal. I’m not going to do that. That statement, her telling this powerful man no, is what set Donald Trump off for an entire year, not just for the rest of that day, not just for the rest of the week.

For a whole fricking year, Trump was mad and he berated her and he abused her. The reporters say that he was calling her just to make her angry at 5:00 AM sometimes 4:00 AM just to wake her up super early, or sometimes in the middle of the night after watching Lou Dobbs on Fox News, the book claims, he would call her, wake her up to yell at her that she wasn’t implementing the policies that Fox News hosts Lou Dobbs suggested on his program. But it gets even worse than that. It’s not just this psychological abuse of a, not letting you get to sleep and yelling at you about something of guy on Fox News said, there’s one exchange and I need to read this. This is from the guardian according to what they read the book. Um, this was at a meeting, you know, Nielsen had already told him no a long time ago.

And so they’re at another meeting. They’re talking about immigration. Donald Trump looks at her again and says, why can’t you just close the border? She says, well, you know, we can’t do that. That’s illegal. We can’t, uh, the president furiously berated Nielsen. Uh, Trump was so worked up that some attendees thought he looked manic Kelly, former chief of staff, John Kelly, silently shook his head at Nielsen to signal to her to stop engaging with the president. Jared Kushner made eye contact with Nielsen and moved his finger across his neck to signal to her to cut it off for the rest of the year. Trump’s bullying behavior towards Nielsen continued. He harassed her with angry phone calls, sometimes waking her at 5:00 AM and pestered her late at night, often called her after watching Fox business host, Lou Dobbs complained about illegal immigration and offer wildly unrealistic policy prescriptions. Now here’s the thing. It’s easy to look at this and be like, wow, poor Kirstjen Nielsen, right? You know, nobody should have to go through this. And that is the God’s honest truth. Nobody should have to go through this. This is abuse.

But let’s also not forget, and this is not an excuse for Trump treating her this way. There is no excuse for this. It is unacceptable in every stretch of the imagination. But Kirstjen Nielsen is also the one who went before Congress and lied about their family separation policy. She lied to Congress under oath, by the way, about their family separation policy said, we don’t have that policy. Then they presented her with evidence showing that she knew the policy was there. She pretty much signed off on it. So it did exist and she still tried to lie her way out of that. Kirstjen Nielsen is a horrible, horrible human being, but just by virtue of being a horrible human being, doesn’t mean you should have to be subjected to the same types of things you’ve subjected other people to. You know, we’re better than that. Kirstjen, unfortunately is not. Trump, unfortunately, is not, and this is what it is, but it all goes back to that old adage that started several years ago. If you try to work with Trump, he’s going to end up humiliating you.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced