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What Kind of Hack is Kirstjen Nielsen?

 

Is she a careerist, cowed by Trump, willfully blind, evil — or all of the above?

Kirstjen Nielsen, chief of the Department of Homeland Security, was speaking at the Aspen Security Forum yesterday when she was asked about Donald Trump’s infamous comments last year after deadly violence in Charlottesville.

“It’s not that one side was right and one side was wrong,” she said. “Anybody that is advocating violence, we need to work to mitigate.”

It’s not clear what she means, of course, when one side was comprised of white supremacists and a literal murderer who thought nothing of plowing his car into a crowd full of people — and the other side was a bunch of peaceful counter-protesters. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League laid it out:

But this isn’t the first time that Nielsen has toed the White House line despite its complete lack of logic.

The last time we wrote about Nielsen, she denied knowing that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, despite unequivocal reports from the U.S. intelligence community. She’s echoed Trump’s untrue line about Russia trying to “cause [electoral] chaos” for both parties. And she’s defended the Trump’s indefensible practice of separating migrant children from their families: “we are trying to protect the children,” she claimed.

We’d like to say we called it, by the way, last December when we advocated against her DHS confirmation because she seemed like she’d be a rubber stamp for the Administration and a clone of her predecessor, now-chief of staff John Kelly, who once was called the “adult in the room” but has since showed an alarming predisposition for Trumplike policies on immigration. But Nielsen’s willingness to be the face of unacceptable positions and policies has been astonishing.

She is a hack, in every sense of the word: more concerned with keeping her job and pleasing her boss than doing right or even acknowledging that there are indisputable facts in the world. She has stood up for so little that it’s possible her actions don’t even keep her up at night: she speaks and acts like she is totally fine with her agents snatching kids from their parents.

We’d ask if she has any shame, but we’re long past that. So, the only question left is, what kind of craven hack is she?