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Tag: john kelly

Trump Picks Top White House Aide to run Homeland Security

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House announced Wednesday that President Trump plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Nielsen, 45, a cyber security expert with an extensive background in homeland security, has a close working relationship with Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly. When Kelly served as Homeland Security secretary until recently, Nielsen was his top aide. When Kelly moved to the White House in July, Nielsen joined him as his principal deputy chief of staff.

Nielsen worked on homeland security issues during stings with the TSA and on the White House Homeland Security Council under George W. Bush.

Also considered for the job was House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas.

Trump Has Yet to Fill Vacancy for Head of Homeland Security

homeland-security-sportsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security has been without a head of Homeland Security for more than two months after President Trump made John Kelly his chief of staff.

The delay of replacing Kelly with a new head of Homeland Security could leave the agency without a leader of the agency for longer than any period in history, the Washington Post reports

Asked about a timeline for Kelly’s replacement, Trump said on Sept. 29 that “we’ll be making that decision probably within a month.”

The Post wrote:

With 240,000 employees, a $40 billion budget and a mile-wide organizational chart, the DHS is managing multiple threats, crises and disasters, both natural and man-made. While leading the recovery efforts after three major hurricanes, the department is also busy policing America’s borders, airports and seas; implementing Trump’s controversial immigration policies; and guarding the country’s electoral system and infrastructure from unprecedented hacking attempts, among other tasks.

Acting secretary Elaine Duke has been in the role since July 31, but she does not have a background in emergency management, counterterrorism or law enforcement. Though she has earned mostly praise for her stewardship of the agency during a difficult stretch, she is not considered a candidate for the secretary job, according to several administration officials with knowledge of the search.

Rep. McCaul Among Top Contenders for Homeland Security Director Job

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, who was considered by the Trump administration as a contender for Homeland Security director, is now “high on the list” to replace John Kelly, MyStatesman.com reports

McCaul, 55, who is a seven-term Republican from Texas and a former prosecutor, declined to comment when asked about the position.

But U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told the Statesman, “I think he’s talking to the White House. … He’s a good man. We go way back. I have a lot of confidence in him.”

But McCaul has some critics. Some conservatives, including Breitbart, don’t believe McCaul is tough enough on immigration.

Vacancy in Permanent Homeland Security Director Position Causes Concerns

Former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly a month after President Trump named Homeland Security Director John Kelly as White House chef of staff, no permanent replacement has been selected.

That worries former department officials, who said it’s critical to fill the position because of the serious responsibilities of Homeland Security, from immigration enforcement to counterterrorism efforts, the Hill reports

The acting head is Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke.

The Senate is on break until after Labor Day and has placed a block not he president’s ability to make recess appointments.

“The White House understands that they need to get someone in that position quickly because if a terrorist attack were to occur without a leader at the helm of that department, they are vulnerable to the criticism that they’re asleep at the switch,” said a source close to the White House.

What’s unclear is what has delayed the president’s nomination of a new secretary.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Administration Mulls Rick Perry for Top Homeland Security Job

Rick Perry

Rick Perry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration is considering replacing John Kelly at Homeland Security with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Three people family with the deliberations told Bloomberg that Perry is among an unknown number of potential candidates for the position, which was abandoned by Kelly when he became the White House chief of staff Monday. 

What unclear is whether Perry wants the job.

“Secretary Perry is focused on the important mission of the Department of Energy. He’s honored to be mentioned, but he loves what he’s doing,” said Robert Haus, director of public affairs at the department.

Some of Trump’s administration favor Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, for the job.

Perry, 67, has a lot of experience with border issues during his nearly 15 years as governor of Texas, but questions have been raised about whether he and the president agree on immigration policies.

Other Stories of Interest

Who Will Replace John Kelly as Homeland Security Secretary? Here Are 4 Possible Candidates

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After President Trump tapped Gen. John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff, speculation has been mounting about who will replace him as head of Homeland Security.

For now, Deputy Secretary of DHS Elaine Duke, is filling the role as acting secretary.

So who could become the next Homeland Security secretary?

According to an examination of several news stories, here are the possible contenders for the high-profile position:

  • Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  • Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE
  • White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert

Incoming DHS Secretary Has 3 Decades of Experience with 3 Administrations

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington veteran Elaine Duke, who is set to become the acting Homeland Security secretary today after a dramatic shakeup, has served in high-ranking positions in three administrations.

Duke, who served as deputy secretary, is expected to become acting secretary today to temporarily replace Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-start Marine Corps general who will become President Trump’s chief of staff.

Reince Priebus resigned from the position after the Trump administration made it clear they didn’t want him on staff anymore.

Duke has plenty of federal government experience.

The Hill wrote:

Duke has nearly three decades of experience working for the federal government, including time at DHS and the Department of Defense, serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

She previously served as under secretary for management and chief procurement for DHS, where she was responsible for managing the agency’s $47 billion budget. 

Duke was also the deputy assistant administrator for acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where she delivered a program to meet a new mandate after 9/11 to federalize passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports

Homeland Security Secretary Meets with Mexican President over Drug Cartels

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday to discuss ways the countries can jointly combat drug cartels.

The high-level talks come ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and Nieto on Friday at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

In the first of three days of meetings, Nieto “emphasized the importance that both countries’ authorities continue working jointly to fight transnational organized crime, based on the shared responsibility that both nations have recognized,” said a statement from the Mexican president’s office, according to ABS-CBN

Nieto expressed concerns about the high demand for drugs and illegal weapons in the U.S., which helps fuel the cartels.