Thursday found another of President Donald Trump's cabinet members testifying in a congressional hearing. This time, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared before the House Judiciary Committee.
Things did not go smoothly for Nielsen who needed to account for the death of a 7-year-old girl who spent two days in DHS custody before dying of dehydration and exposure. Jackelin Caal of Guatemala died December 8, while held by DHS separate from her father with whom she came to the United States.
Then things took a bizarre turn when Nielsen appeared to forget the English language. While speaking to Republican Representative Tom Marino of Philadelphia, Nielsen stated:
"From Congress I would ask for wall. We need wall."
"I would ask for wall. We need wall." https://t.co/mkgHZWFgyI— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall)1545335218.0
this is an actual quote from the secretary of homeland security of the united states, and not the incredible hulk.… https://t.co/jOp37OaLpJ— Oliver Willis (@Oliver Willis)1545333771.0
she did it again https://t.co/dakmburH2o— Oliver Willis (@Oliver Willis)1545337763.0
You see, this isn't the first time DHS has used this odd turn of phrase. In a DHS memo—titled Walls Work—released December 12, the same language was used, saying:
"We are committed to building wall and building wall quickly"
But by December 14 DHS revised the memo to reflect proper grammar. In the interim, many people stated it sounded like the Incredible Hulk or Cookie Monster now worked for DHS.
This DHS document is very funny for the way it says "committed to building wall and building wall quickly" and "we… https://t.co/U49duHdoP8— Adam Taylor (@Adam Taylor)1544718948.0
The Hulk is the new dhs press secretary: "DHS is committed to building wall and building wall quickly. We are not r… https://t.co/BUrkPmQ9wc— Julie Gerstein (@Julie Gerstein)1544710019.0
ICYMI: "DHS is committed to building wall and building wall quickly. We are not replacing short, outdated and ineff… https://t.co/sVkSOCb52s— Juliette Kayyem (@Juliette Kayyem)1544717128.0
Okay, do we have Russians writing our DHS memos now? What the hell... Walls Work | Homeland Security… https://t.co/u8S1ev1JWU— brent (@brent)1544725803.0
@jaketapper Me bored...me write DHS memo. Cookie? https://t.co/fAcM3rXWpt— The Honey Badger (@The Honey Badger)1544705488.0
While Bruce Banner and Cookie Monster are keeping their day jobs, where did this language choice originate?
White House officials want the article "the" removed from references to Trump's wall. It must be referred to as "border wall" or just "wall."
And while language and phrasing choices can have a profound subliminal effect on others, the point of this particular choice remains lost on the masses however. Nielsen mostly got mocked and memed.
@joshtpm We need articles.— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast)1545335273.0
@owillis https://t.co/mPm7yq9dlX— Will Rayner (@Will Rayner)1545335237.0
@owillis Well now we know she's the one who wrote that statement on the DHS site.— Gregay (@Gregay)1545334375.0
@owillis Wall her already!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮— Taggart Rehnn (@Taggart Rehnn)1545333856.0
@owillis Incredible. These people are running our government!— Sheila McCallister (@Sheila McCallister)1545335212.0
@owillis https://t.co/6JPMxuaIPk— Darrell L Sisson (@Darrell L Sisson)1545335818.0
@MrFelt_ @owillis LOL, she need water— Seeking Justice (@Seeking Justice)1545335022.0
@combienDUtemps @MrFelt_ @owillis Nope. Hulk smash water like CBP agents in desert.— Miss Demeanor, Fx (@Miss Demeanor, Fx)1545337092.0
@owillis @Will_Bunch https://t.co/zfbAckimkg— Sun Shines Brightly (@Sun Shines Brightly)1545336178.0
@owillis Kind of like how a Russian would say it.— John Dennis (@John Dennis)1545336647.0
@owillis https://t.co/d4yhXzQC01— Fall-o Apollo (@Fall-o Apollo)1545333877.0
@owillis @mrsschepp HULK SMASH WALL DOWN GOOD. I love lamp.— Aaron Seth Price (@Aaron Seth Price)1545338266.0
@owillis https://t.co/8LwkmS2ep2— Max McGloin (@Max McGloin)1545336198.0
@owillis Acutal Idiocracy.— Power Moves (@Power Moves)1545336134.0
@owillis 'Wall is our friend..' https://t.co/4d6eDje0vN— john fulchino (@john fulchino)1545338741.0
@owillis Hahaha. When I read the ridiculous text on the DHS website the other day I figured some syntax-challenged… https://t.co/EJioSvByl8— Denell (@Denell)1545336619.0
@owillis https://t.co/M7ovp9ohLe— Michael “Colorado Border Patrol” Simons (@Michael “Colorado Border Patrol” Simons)1545337284.0
@owillis The pot in the White House is strong.— ⫷ • Macartisan • ⫸ (@⫷ • Macartisan • ⫸)1545338801.0
@owillis https://t.co/ms0xiFh53Y— John Ronald (@John Ronald)1545336869.0
The full fallout from today's hearing may not be known until Congress reconvenes in January, at which time Democrats will control the House. Until then, the Trump administration may want wall, but will they get wall?