Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Sunday that the “timing was unfortunate," and last week’s Mississippi raid by U.S. immigration officials that resulted in 680 arrests probably should have been postponed.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, anchor Chuck Todd pressed McAleenan on whether there was any thought of postponing the raid, which took place just days after the El Paso mass shooting in which an accused shooter said he specifically targeted Mexicans due to a “Hispanic invasion.”
McAleenan said the raid had been part of a lengthy criminal investigation in the works for more than a year, and that he had been informed that it would be occurring last week.
Towards the end of the interview, Todd pushed the acting DHS chief on whether he agreed that the raid was poor optics.
“I want to go back to the Mississippi raid one more time,” the NBC host said. “Given the emotions of the country right now, in hindsight, do you wish this raid didn’t happen this week?”
“The timing was unfortunate,” McAleenan replied.
Asked if he would accept the DHS secretary position if it were offered to him permanently, McAleenan deflected, saying he was merely “focused on solving problems.”
Todd pressed: "Is that fair to say, that I can say you didn't answer?"
McAleenan replied: "That's fair."