White House Mayhem: Biden Admin At Each Other's Throats Over Border Policy

By Alan Hume | Tuesday, 13 February 2024 12:00 PM
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The escalating crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, under the stewardship of President Joe Biden's administration, is reportedly causing discord among senior advisors as they grapple with finding a resolution, as per an Axios report.

As legislators persist in their deliberations over a potential Senate bill that would fund Ukraine, Israel, and various border security initiatives, the U.S.-Mexico border is experiencing an unprecedented influx of migrants. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered over 300,000 migrants in December 2023, marking the highest monthly figure on record. Amid mounting pressure, top officials are reportedly deflecting blame, with some absolving themselves entirely of any responsibility, according to sources cited by Axios.

In a January 2023 meeting addressing the border crisis, President Biden reportedly lost his temper in front of senior advisors, including then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and Homeland Security advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, as per multiple sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Axios. The President's outburst was allegedly triggered by his staff's lack of "obscure immigration data points," the sources told Axios.

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However, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates disputed this portrayal of the meeting to Axios. He stated that "multiple firsthand participants of the meeting refute this description of the tone and outcome." Bates added that the meeting was focused on discussing "the specifics of this complex issue."

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National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who has traditionally not been involved in border issues, reportedly delegated his responsibilities to Sherwood-Randall, who lacked experience in this area, according to sources cited by Axios.

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Vice President Kamala Harris, who was assigned by Biden in 2021 to address the root causes of the migration crisis in Central America, has reportedly made it clear that her role was confined to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, according to individuals familiar with a meeting who spoke to Axios. As the migration crisis has evolved into a more global issue, Harris has reportedly been reluctant to assume additional responsibilities.

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A former senior official from the Biden administration told Axios, "She's been at best ineffective, and at worst sporadically engaged and not seeing it was her responsibility." The official added, "It's an opportunity for her, and she didn't fill the breach."

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According to individuals familiar with the dynamics who spoke to Axios, there has been tension between Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, Sherwood-Randall, and Harris. The friction between Rice and Harris reportedly stems from their 2020 White House run. Rice is said to take pride in being more informed about the border crisis than the Vice President.

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A spokesperson for Rice, however, denied any tension in the relationship between the two leaders in a comment to Axios.

Rice and other officials reportedly harbor deep resentment towards Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra due to his failure to secure additional space in child migrant shelters, according to several sources familiar with the dynamics who spoke to Axios. Rice has allegedly referred to Becerra as a "bitch ass" in private and called him an "idiot."

During a meeting where Biden was reportedly displeased with Becerra, Rice passed a note to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas that read, "Don't save him," according to Axios.

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