Surprised 'Fox & Friends' Hosts Defend Kirstjen Nielsen For Doing 'Impossible' DHS Job, Question Trump Firing Her 'Face-To-Face'

Fox & Friends appeared uncharacteristically shocked by President Donald Trump's latest decision after the ousting of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, prompting the co-hosts to ask their most prominent viewer what "she could have done different?"

The Fox News Monday morning crew said Nielsen was tasked with an "impossible" and "thankless" job, marked by harassment from the media, Mexican restaurant protesters and a Congress unwilling to change "catch-and-release" laws as demanded by the president. After co-host Steve Doocy asked producer Griff Jenkins, "she was fired, right?" the surprised Fox & Friends regulars blamed Democrats for raising concerns about family separations at the border as well as National Security Adviser John Bolton.

"We'll continue to speculate, see what happens," co-host Brian Kilmeade said, before offering a passionate defense of Nielsen. "The president doesn't usually fire face-to-face, he's usually somebody who will have someone else do it, or like, tweet it out," as Doocy slipped in an Apprentice quip about Trump's former show.

"The signal to Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala is 'come now' because the crackdown is going to happen," Kilmeade said. "I don't know what [Nielsen] could have done differently. She could not go out in a restaurant with her family, she worked 50 hours a day for the longest time, she got blasted in Congress when she went there. She took a lot of the pummeling from the press as well as Democrats. I think it was a thankless job."

The co-hosts also repeatedly questioned whether her replacement, Kevin McAleenan, will be "tough enough" for the job because he's an "Obama holdover." They also asked Mark Morgan, who led the U.S. Border Patrol under Obama, to give explicit instructions to Congress about how to end "catch-and-release" legislatively.

At Kilmeade's prompt, Morgan laid out how conservatives need to attack both parts of catch-and-release: The 1997 Flores Settlement and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, or TVPRA.

"I feel bad for her in that she was in an impossible situation," Kilmeade continued. "If you want to solve the problem with Mexicans coming over the border, we did it. If you want to solve the problem of Central Americans coming through, we didn't do it."

Kilmeade lamented catch-and-release, described how if "you're on U.S. soil for twenty days and you're a child and you're with an adult—you get to stay!"

Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt also defended Nielsen and blamed congressional Democrats for not changing the laws to suit Trump's demands. A New York Times report Monday claims Trump used to call Nielsen early in the morning and demand she stop letting migrants enter the country at all costs.

"It is. It's a hard job, especially when Congress is not changing the laws," Earhardt said. "It's very difficult. And then when you have catch-and-relase and they come over and they're in these facilities and you have to release them after twenty days, it's hard."

Earhardt noted a CBP report saying the agency is on track to apprehend one million illegals at the border this year alone.

"It's tough for her. People are saying 'it's such a difficult job' and they're wondering if the new guy, McAleenan, is going to be tough enough. Will he shut down the border in a year if the president asks him to? The guy, he worked for President Obama as Griff [Jenkins] was saying...he remains in good standing with Democrats and Republicans."

Doocy led the other co-hosts in noting Nielsen may not have been a good pick for the job because her background was in "cybersecurity." Kilmeade also took another shot at McAleenan, saying, "he's an Obama holdover, so he was able to win over the president, at least for now." And he later said Congress has "idiotically" left the catch-and-release legislation on the books, saying Democrats and the media fabricated or exacerbated Obama-era photos of kids in cages.

kirstjen nielsen fox & friends
Fox & Friends appeared uncharacteristically shocked by President Donald Trump's latest decision to oust DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, prompting the co-hosts to ask their most prominent viewer, "what could she have done different?" Screenshot: Fox & Friends | YouTube