Transcript for A veteran New York City firefighter are among 3 Marines killed in Afghanistan
Meantime, our correspondent Jon Karl asking president trump today about the firings at the department of homeland security. And asking the president whether he plans to separate parents and children at the border again. Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: With talk of more people yet to be fired, the president today denied he was conducting a purge of the leadership at the department of homeland security. I never said I'm cleaning house. I don't know who came with that expression. We've got a lot of good people over there. Reporter: But in just the past few day, he's fired the dhs secretary, removed the director of the secret service and pulled his own nominee to run the immigration and customs enforcement agency. We want to go to tougher direction. Reporter: And there have been multiple reports the president has talked about bringing back the policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border. At first, he didn't seem to want to talk about that. Are you considering child separations again? Can you rule that out, Mr. President? You wouldn't start separating the children again, would you Mr. President? Obama separated the children, by the way. Reporter: Would you consider doing it again? Just -- just so you understand. I'm the one that stopped it. President Obama had child separation. I'll tell you something, once you don't have it, that's why you see many more people coming, they're coming like it's a pick anymore, because, "Let's go to disneyland." Reporter: In fact, unlike president trump, president Obama never had a blanket policy of separating children from their parents. Under Obama, there were separations, but they occurred when the adults were tied to more serious crimes, like drug trafficking or previous deportations. After repeated questions, the president said he did not want to reinstate his family separation policy. We're not looking to do that, no. Thank you very much. Reporter: You're not looking to bring it back? But it does -- it brings a lot more people to the border. When you don't do it, it brings a lot more people to the border. All right, let's get to Jon Karl live at the white house tonight. And Jon, president trump insists he's not cleaning houlgs at the department of homeland security, but tonight, nearly half the people in the top jobs there are serving on an acting basis. Reporter: In fact, David, I'm told to expect more departures in the coming days. The bottom line is, the white house does not believe the senior leadership at the department of homeland security has been aggressive enough in implementing the president's policies to control the border. But this is a vast agency with a vital mission. Republican Ron Johnson is the chairman of the senate homeland security committee and he is one of those who has expressed concerned about what he called a growing leadership void within the department tasked with addressing some of the most significant problems facing the nation. David? Jon Karl tonight. Jon, thank you.
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