President Trump expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary

Allan Goodman
October 12, 2017

President Donald Trump was expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, who as the top aide to his White House chief of staff has sought to instil order in Trump's team, to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a White House official said on Wednesday.

Trump's announcement could come as early as Wednesday, Politico reported, citing two administration officials and three outside advisers familiar with the matter.

Ms. Nielsen would replace John F. Kelly, who left the department in July to serve as the chief of staff in Mr. Trump's chaotic White House.

Nielsen was former DHS Secretary John Kelly's deputy when he served in that role and moved with Kelly to the White House when he was tapped to be Trump's chief of staff.

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Commenting on the news is Chris Doman, security researcher at AlienVault, who is investigating hacking groups in North Korea. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan on October 18 in Seoul, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

Nielsen, 45, has a background in cyber-security policy.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement he was pleased the president had made a decision on filling the post "after letting the critical national security position remain vacant as the nation faced multiple major hurricanes and a domestic terrorism attack".

Nielsen's departure from the White House would mark the latest upheaval in Trump's White House team. But he would also remove from his White House a person who brought a regimented style to a freewheeling and often dysfunctional West Wing, much to the chagrin of some senior officials and people close to the president who chafed under her dictates. Duke recently got into some controversy when she said that the hurricane response effort in Puerto Rico was a "good news story". She previously worked as a special assistant to George W. Bush and for the Transportation Security Administration.

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