Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump to name new Homeland Security secretary

Trump to name new Homeland Security secretary

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. But her allies and fans she said was simply helping to professionalize the West Wing - the sort of necessary but thankless task that often leaves some staff members griping.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pennsylvania, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, said in a statement on Wednesdday that Nielsen is "extremely well versed in the all-hazard threats challenging the security and resilience of our homeland-from cybersecurity and terrorism to natural disasters".

She now serves as Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff and was also his chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen will be nominated by President Trump to be the new Secretary of Homeland Security.

"The decision wouldn't have been made without the chief of staff's endorsement", a source told CNN, referring to Kelly's endorsement of Nielsen.

Elaine Duke has been filling in as acting secretary in the meantime. She previously worked as a special assistant to George W. Bush and for the Transportation Security Administration. Duke recently got into some controversy when she said that the hurricane response effort in Puerto Rico was a "good news story".

Mr. Kelly, who has relied on Ms. Nielsen's counsel and expertise since he was preparing for his January confirmation hearing to be Homeland Security secretary, had pushed hard for her selection.

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge - the first person to ever hold the position, which President George W. Bush created in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks - praised Nielsen in a statement, calling her a "homeland security veteran" who is "extremely well versed" in the threats facing the U.S.

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