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Brandi Carlile Pulls Out of Event Over Trump Appointee Involvement

Brandi Carlile Pulls Out of Event Over Trump Appointee Involvement

The joke is on them.

Lesbian folk rock icon Brandi Carlile has pulled out of an upcoming women's summit over news that former White House staffer Kirstjen Neilsen plans to attend.

Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit is a three-day festival that will take place from October 21 to 23 in Washington, D.C. Its website bills the event as "convening the preeminent women in business -- along with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education and the arts -- for wide-ranging conversations that inspire and deliver practical advice."

Names on this year's list of include Former U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, sexual harassment whistleblower Anita Hill, Arizona Senator Martha McSally, and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the latter of who is one of nearly two dozen candidates running for president.

However, it was Neilsen's involvement in the event that stoked ire. During her 17n months in the Trump administration, she oversaw its policy of separating children from their parents in immigrant detention centers.

Carlile said that as a "mother with a ridiculous birthright and a heart for displaced people," she could not be associated with Neilsen's politics.

"I don't think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to "reimagine" history," she said. "[...] The atrocity of family separation at our Southern border needs to go down in history as one of the United States of America's most merciless acts."

"Respectfully, I absolutely cannot support Kirstjen Nielsen having a voice among the most powerful and inspiring women in America," Carlile added.

Although the Trump administration has claimed that only 3,000 migrant children were forcibly removed from their families while crossing the border, investigations claim the number could be much higher -- even as an exact estimate is unknown. Many children are unable to see their parents as they are locked in cages for months on end, leading to extreme, possibly long-term trauma.

This isn't the first time that Carlile has been critical of the current administration. After Trump was elected in November 2016, the Grammy winner posted a message on Facebook saying she "sat openly weeping this morning at London Heathrow airport with my American passport in my hand."

"I plan to dedicate myself for as long as it takes to advocate for children whose lives are being destroyed by conflict, racism, and greed," she said. "[...] There is no moral justification for turning your back on the needy, it will always be and always has been a risk to do the right thing. We aren't going to be scared into "extreme vetting" and "bans" that leave children to drown in the sea."

Carlile -- who shares a daughter, Evangeline, with wife Catherine Shepherd -- isn't the only public figure to back out of the Fortune summit. Hillary Clinton reversed her decision to attend over news that both Neilsen and Gabbard would be included.

In recent days, Clinton has claimed Gabbard is a "Russian asset" and accused the Kremlin of goading her into running a third-party campaign in 2020.

RELATED | How Did I Not Know Brandi Carlile Was in A Star Is Born?

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