DHS Secretary: Cory Booker's Lecture to Me Was 'Unfortunate Waste' of Time

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Posted: Jan 24, 2018 3:00 PM
DHS Secretary: Cory Booker's Lecture to Me Was 'Unfortunate Waste' of Time

Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) temper tantrum during last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, in which he tore into Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over President Trump’s “sh*thole countries” comment, was nothing more than an “unfortunate waste” of time, she said. 

Nielsen told Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” that his outburst was a “distraction” from a hearing that should’ve been focused on “real threats” facing the nation and what DHS is doing to fight them. 

"It became 11 minutes of a lecture about a meeting he was not in, about one word, and about whether or not I heard it," Nielsen said. "I said under testimony, was it possible? Sure. I just didn’t hear the word. That was it."

"He has no interest in what the secretary of Homeland Security thinks," she continued. "He just wanted to lecture me for 11 minutes and it was an unfortunate waste of all of our time when we could have been focused on the needs and threats we have."

Booker excoriated the secretary for not being able to confirm whether or not the president used the phrase “sh*thole” in the meeting. 

"Why is this so important? Why is this so disturbing for me? Why am I frankly seething with anger?" Booker said. "We have this incredible nation where we have been taught that it does not matter where you're from, it doesn't matter your color, your race, your religion, it's about the content of your character. It's about your values and your ideals, and yet we have a language that from Dick Durbin to Lindsey Graham, they seem to have a much better recollection of what went on. You're under oath."

He continued: "The commander in chief in an Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vile and vulgar language. That language festers when ignorance and bigotry is aligned with power. It is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.”

Booker is widely seen as a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2020.