Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Trump Nominates Kirstjen Nielsen As Next Homeland Security Secretary

Image SIPA USA  PA Images Image SIPA USA PA Images
Saul Franklin | 12 October, 2017, 00:53

Nielsen was John Kelly's deputy when he served as Trump's first DHS secretary and moved with Kelly to the White House when he was tapped to be Trump's chief of staff.

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge issued a statement praising Nielsen on Wednesday, calling her a "homeland security veteran" and saying: "Kirstjen can hit the ground running and there won't be a learning curve".

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a cybersecurity expert and deputy White House chief of staff, to be Homeland Security secretary, a job left vacant when John Kelly left the department to become White House chief of staff in July, four administration officials confirmed Wednesday.

Nielsen has reportedly stood steadfastly by Kelly's side through his transition process from DHS to the White House and topped the list of Kelly's personal recommendations to fill his old post.

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Nielsen would be the first former DHS staffer to lead the department, which was created by former President George W. Bush in 2003. Prior to that, she worked as president and general counsel for the homeland and national security arm of the Civitas Group, a consulting firm.

She attended the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia Law School.

Nielsen has a reputation as Kelly's "brusque, no-nonsense longtime aide", as Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush of The New York Times have described her. While two of those people cautioned that the president could always change his mind before a formal announcement, the others said the decision was slated to be announced formally Thursday.

Added Frances Townsend, her boss at the White House during the Bush administration: "She is tough as nails, competent and has rightly earned the president's respect". "The pick is not being received well", the official said.

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