Multiple outlets including The Washington Examiner are reporting that sources within the agency believe Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was behind the leaks about the now-postponed plan to deport approximately 2,000 illegal immigrants from ten US cities.
The Washington Examiner reported they have multiple sources confirming the accusation.
“I know he has not approved of this operation for months,” one person familiar with those private conversations said during a phone call Saturday night. “The president wouldn’t leak that. ICE wouldn’t leak that. There’s only a few people involved in these discussions … The only one who could have shared the details of those operations were Kevin.”
“That’s our belief,” a second official said when asked if McAleenan was behind the leak. “The secretary was not supportive from day one.”
A senior administration official told Buzzfeed News that “Leaking the locations and details to stop the operation from happening not only harmed operational integrity, but it put the safety and well-being of his own officers in jeopardy.” “The ICE mission is enforcing the nation’s laws and ensuring those who are unlawfully present in the country are removed if ordered by a judge; this will leave an un-erasable mark on his tenure.”
The Washington Examiner’s report says their sources told them that only a handful of people in the White House, ICE, and DHS knew the exact cities, dates and times for the ICE raids.
Following the Post report, ICE advised the White House not to go forward with the raids, in part because those who were the targets might have fled the locations Enforcement and Removal Operations officers had expected to find them.
The report was by a reporter who traveled on a government plane down to the border Wednesday with Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan. It contained information that McAleenan and few others would only have been privy to.
The Washington Post also reported Kevin McAleenan’s opposition to the raids.
“Leaking the locations and details to stop the operation from happening not only harmed operational integrity, but it put the safety and well-being of his own officers in jeopardy,” the third official wrote to the Examiner.
“That’s law enforcement sensitive information. You just don’t reveal that,” the second official said. “It gets people hyped up. It gets the NGOs activated, and then anyone wearing a jacket with the ICE name on it is really chastised. Cities are coming out saying, ‘Here’s how you can protect yourself against it.’”
On Saturday morning former ICE Director Tom Homan exposed acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan for resisting the upcoming ICE raids and for leaking the timing and location to the press.
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