A tense hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee exploded Wednesday afternoon when Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA) tore into Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over asylum law and zero tolerance. The drama began when Nielsen claimed that any migrant seeking asylum would not be turned away at a port of entry. That sparked fury from Barragan, who claimed she saw a Honduran asylum seeker turned away just last weekend. “Let me tell you, Madam Secretary, you’re either lying to this committee or you don’t know what’s happening at the border,” Barragan said. When Nielsen attempted to respond to Barragan’s verbal attacks, Barragan repeatedly cut her off and demanded a yes or no answer. After she was cut off at least five times, Nielsen pushed back: “Would you like me to respond to any of your questions?” she asked. “Well you don’t have any answers!” Barragan shot back.
Barragan ended her time by taking aim at Nielsen’s claim that she delayed giving direction on implementing the zero-tolerance policy because she wanted to do it with compassion. “Do you have any idea how outrageous that sounds?” she said, nearly yelling. “You wanted to separate children and families, and you wanted to do it with compassion?”