President Trump Nominates Deputy Chief Of Staff To Lead DHS

Jabin Botsford  The Washington Post via Getty

Jabin Botsford The Washington Post via Getty

President Donald Trump nominated White House aide Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next secretary of Homeland Security on Wednesday. Kelly is now Trump's Chief of Staff.

"There, she quickly reinforced a sterling reputation as a dedicated leader whose No. 1 priority is always the safety and security of our country and our citizens, not politics of ideology".

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Nielsen added that at DHS she plans to continue to provide support to communities struck by the recent wave of natural disasters, promising to "remain fully engaged in the long recovery effort ahead of us". She's the first nominee to lead DHS to have previously worked there. Before joining the Trump administration, she started her own risk and security management consulting firm.

"She has won the universal respect of my entire cabinet and senior White House staff", said Trump. "There will be no on-the-job training, she's ready from day one, " Trump said.

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Also considered for the job was House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas. "I look forward to working closely with the Administration and Ranking Member McCaskill to expedite the consideration of Ms. Nielsen's nomination and help make America safer and more secure". Kirstjen Nielsen was a top White House aide until now and formerly worked at the department. She has reportedly acted as Kelly's enforcer as he has sought to impose order and discipline on a chaotic and disorganized West Wing. That includes restricting access to the Oval Office and streamlining the flow of information to the president. Nielsen replaces Gen. John F. Kelly, who held the role until July.

Mr. Kelly pushed hard for her selection, making a personal appeal to Mr. Trump during a monthslong search process. She was forced to clarify her claim last month that the federal response to Maria is "a good news story".

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