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Homeland Secretary Defends Border Agents from Democrats’ Attacks

The Secretary of Homeland Security pushed back on criticism of his ‘shut up’ comment.

At a House hearing on the president’s proposed budget on Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly stood up for the rank-and-file of his department.

Kelly had received criticism after telling congressional critics of those who protect the border to “shut up” at an April speech. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) brought up the comment at the hearing in an attempt to lecture Kelly.

The secretary compared his current post to his previous career in the military. Instead of criticizing soldiers on the ground, Kelly said, critics of the military would hit commanders or policies.

The same standard should apply to the Department of Homeland Security, Kelly argued.

“All I heard, day in and day out – ‘Nazis, stormtroop[er] tactics, prejudice’ – about the men and women, the footsoldiers if you will, that stand on our border or inside our country and protect it,” he said.

“I would just ask that [you] criticize me, criticize the Trump policies, but please recognize that my men and women are doing the same kind of thing day in and day out [that] our military men and women are,” Kelly asked.