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Tag: Kevin McAleenan

President Trump Looking for Fifth Homeland Security Secretary Since Taking Office

Homeland Security helicopter, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Job security is not exactly a perk in the top job at the Department of Homeland Security.

Kevin McAleenan was the fourth person to hold the job of Homeland Security secretary since Donald Trump became president three years ago. His resignation Friday means the agency that protects the nation against terrorism, cyberattacks, illegal immigrant natural disasters and other threats needs another leader.

The two leading candidates to replace McAleenan are Mark Morgan, acting CBP commissioner, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to The Wall Street Journal, which notes the list of potential candidates may expand.

Leading Homeland Security has been no easy task because Trump has demanded a secretary whose focus is clearly on immigration, which is only one part of the multi-faceted agency.

Enter Morgan and Cuccinelli. Their rhetoric on immigration matches the president’s, so they are more likely to be loyal.

“The rhetoric coming from the top of DHS will likely now more closely match the president,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonprofit that supports liberalized immigration legislation, told The Wall Street Journal.

Acting Homeland Security Chief Walks out of Speech over Disruptive Protesters

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Shouting and chanting protesters forced acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan off the stage before he could deliver a keynote address at Georgetown University’s Law Centeron Monday.

McAleenan was expected to give a 45-minute speech at the law school when he was immediately drowned out by chants of, “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” The USA Today reports.

A group of protesters also held a banner that read, “hate is not normal.”

The speech was part of an annual conference on immigration by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a nonpartisan think tank, Georgetown University Law School and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

After trying to start his speech several times, he eventually gave up and said, “OK, thank you” and left the stage.

Activists said they didn’t want to give McAleenan a platform to “spread hatred.”

“No Trump henchmen should be given a platform to spread hatred or defend the racist, xenophobic policies put into place by Donald Trump and Stephen Miller,” said Nicole Regalado, the campaign director of CREDO Action. “Institutions that elevate the architects and enforcers of Trump’s hate and normalize that cruelty can expect to hear from us.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan Expresses Frustration with Trump Administration

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has spoken out about his department’s increasingly controversial policies that is turning the department into a partisan tool for the president.

In a candid interview with The Washington Post, McAleenan said the family separations at the border were “well intended” but “went too far.”

“When you see the impact in the six-week period on 2,500-or-so families and understand the emotional pain for those children, it’s not worth it,” McAleenan, who is six months into his role, told The Washington Post. “It’s the one part of this whole thing that I couldn’t ever be part of again.”

McAleenan said he’s losing control of the rhetoric coming from a department that is supposed to be a neutral law enforcement agency.

“What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time,” he said. “That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.”

Trump has yet to nominate McAleenan to the full-time DHS secretary position.

White House officials would not discuss why he hasn’t been nominated, nor would they respond to his frustrations.

“Secretary McAleenan is doing a fantastic job implementing the president’s plan to secure the southern border, build the wall, halt illegal immigration and stop the dangerous practice of catch-and-release,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said. “Thanks to the changes President Trump’s administration has put in place, now, if you try to violate our borders, you will be turned around and sent back to where you came from.”

Homeland Security: White Supremacy Is a Leading Domestic Terrorism Threat

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to combat white supremacy violence following the massacre in El Paso by a gunman motivated by his hatred of immigrants.

The department’s list of domestic terrorism threats now includes white supremacy, which has been on the rise since President Trump was elected.

The recent mass shootings “galvanized the Department of Homeland Security to expand its counterterrorism mission focus beyond terrorists operating aboard, to include those radicalized to violence within our borders by violent extremists of any ideology,” Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, said at a recent speech at the Brookings Institute.

“The continuing menace of racially based violent extremism, particularly white supremacist extremism, is an abhorrent affront to our nation, the struggle and unity of its diverse population, and the core values of both our society and our department,” McAleenan said during the speech.

DHS wrote up a 40-age document explaining its plan to collect data on white nationalist threats by working with local and state governments. The document also says DHS will combat propaganda on social media.

The El Paso massacre that killed 22 people at a Walmart “was an attack on all of us, on our family,” McAleenan told The Atlantic in an interview, noting that many Homeland Security employees are Hispanic.

Top Homeland Security Aide, Spokesman Meehan Resigns Amid Tensions

Andrew Meehan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Andrew Meehan, a spokesman and top aide to Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan, is reportedly leaving the Trump administration over trust issues.

Meehan became acting assistant secretary of public affairs just four months ago to serve with former CBP boss, McAleenan, who promoted to acting secretary in April.

The White House had become frustrated with Meehan’s strategy in rolling out policy changes and his timing on announcements, Axios reports.

“Meehan, who was in Panama in advance of the secretary’s visit during the Flores rollout, made the decision to leave government a couple of weeks ago,” a senior DHS official told Axios.

Homeland Security and White House officials had not responded to questions about Meehan’s departure as of Thursday night.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Contradicts Tucker Carlson about White Supremacy ‘Hoax’

Kevin McAleenan on Fox and Friends.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan contradicted Fox News’ Tucker Carlson by saying “there is a rise” in white supremacy-fueled domestic terrorism.

Carlson, a conservative provocateur who often defends President Trump on controversial issues, has been pushing the narrative that an increase in white supremacy is a “hoax.”

When asked on Fox and Friends if domestic terrorism was really on the rise or if “it’s just being reported differently,” McAleenan responded, “I think there is a rise in the number of incidents.”

“The FBI director testified last month, about 850 domestic terrorism investigations ongoing, a number of those with racially motivated, violent extremest ideologies behind them,” McAleenan, a Trump appointee, said Wednesday.

McAleenan added that “we’ve got to get out in front of that, both on the prevention side and identifying individuals that are on a pathway to violence.” He said Homeland Security has been notifying schools and state and local officials about ways to identify potentially violent people before they act out.

“That’s what we have to do,” McAleenen said. “So there is a concern there is an increasing amount of violence in the targeted sense.”

Just three days after the mass shooting in El Paso, where the gunman wrote a manifesto about the “invasion of Hispanics” before killing 22 people, Carlson said white supremacy is “actually not a real problem in America.”

“It’s a hoax, just like the Russia hoax,” Carlson insisted. “It’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.”

Homeland Security: CBP Agents Disciplined for Offensive Facebook Posts

Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on ABC’s “This Week.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection agents who posted offensive and sexually demeaning content on Facebook have been disciplined, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told ABC’s “This Week.”

McAleenan said some agents were placed on “administrative duties” and others were warned to stop the conduct in letters. He did not specify how many agents were involved.

“The agents will be held accountable if they are CBP employees who did inappropriate things. I don’t think it’s reflective of the men and women we have,” McAleenan said.

The Facebook page, called “I’m 10-15,” was first reported by ProPublica on Monday. The page is used by current and former agents.

The Facebook group included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
 One of the posts was an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who were visiting detention centers.

Commenters also questioned the authenticity of a now-viral photo of a drowned man and his younger daughter.

When ProPublica approached CBP about the Facebook group, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost denied knowing about it and pledged to launch an investigation.

But Politico reported that CBP officials knew about a secret, sexist and demeaning Facebook group for at least three years. In 2016, Border Patrol agents reported offensive photos that included simulated sex acts and other offensive material, a current Homeland Security official told Politico.

McAleenan on Sunday said he “was not aware of this group” at the time. Since then, he claimed, one agent was disciplined.

Politico received screenshots of Facebook posts that were reported to CBP. One agent appeared in two photos, one of which showed him simulating sex with a training mannequin. The other showed the agent smiling and posing with what appeared to be a human skull. In a third photo, an agent appeared to be defecting in the Arizona desert.

The reported photos resulted in a now-closed investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Trump’s Pick for ICE Director Criticized Admin As ‘Heartless,’ ‘Devoid of Any Decency’

President Trump’s choice for ICE director, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s choice for ICE director had harsh words for his ouster as head of Border Patrol in 2017.

Then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan wrote in a 2017 email to then-acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan that the administration’s call for “me to leave immediately is heartless and void of any decency and compassion,” Axios reports.

McAleenan, who is now the acting Homeland Security secretary, received another email from Morgan, who wrote “I am being removed in the name of politics – and politics at its worst. … I will not have them believe I willingly left under these circumstances.”

Morgan wrote in another email, “This is wrong on many levels. I have questions but I need to process through a bit more.”

The emails didn’t make clear why Morgan was removed, and no reason was offered when he resigned.
But the National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol agents, said Morgan was inexperienced. According to an Axios source, Trump made the call after privately talking to NBPC President Brandon Judd.

In a strange turnabout, Judd told Politico that Morgan was the right person to head the agency, in no small part due to his experience at the FBI.