Tuesday, 09 April 2019

Shakeup at DHS: Nielsen Resigns; Secret Service Director Alles Reportedly Fired

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The day after the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security Secretary on April 7, following a meeting with President Trump at the White House, the White House announced that Randolph “Tex” Alles would be leaving his position as Director of the United States Secret Service at the end of April. In his position as Director, Alles reported to Nielsen.

The president announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would replace Nielsen as acting secretary, tweeting: “I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”

Alles wrote in a message to his agency: “No doubt you have seen media reports regarding my ‘firing.’ I assure you that this is not the case, and in fact was told weeks ago by the Administration that transitions in leadership should be expected across the Department of Homeland Security.”

However, among the news sources that stated that Alles had been fired were Britain’s Daily Mail and CBS News, which reported:

U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles was fired Monday, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Cissna, DHS undersecretary for management Claire Grady and DHS general counsel John Mitnick are also leaving the administration. The officials’ departures are part of a system-wide purge of senior management at DHS as top Trump adviser Stephen Miller looks to overhaul immigration-related policy and personnel.

The Daily Mail report noted: 

The twin killings of Nielsen and Alles indicate the strong hand of 33-year-old Trump aide Stephen Miller, a former aide to then-Senator Jeff Sessions who has become the driving force behind the administration’s immigration policy.

Shoving Alles overboard and driving others out signals the growing authority of Trump adviser Stephen Miller, the 33-year-old former staffer to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. Alles, Cissna, Grady and Mitnick were on a list of officials Miller targeted for removal as “too soft,” according to a White House official.

Fox News reported that Trump nominated McAleenan as CBP commissioner on the first day of his presidency, but he was not confirmed by the Senate until March of 2018. 

The Fox report cited unnamed sources who told the network that that it remains to be seen whether McAleenan has the political skills required to be permanent Homeland Security secretary, but noted that he has excellent relationships with the Pentagon, State Department, and National Security Council. He also has a reputation within CBP as a “brilliant” mind with “tremendous organizational skills.”

The day after her resignation, which is generally understood to have been made at the president’s request, Nielsen spoke to reporters from outside her home in Alexandria, Virginia. “I am forever grateful,” Nielsen said, and praised Homeland Security officials who work to “execute their missions and to protect the homeland.”

“I’m looking forward to supporting them from the outside,” Nielsen said, noting that since her resignation on April 7, she has spoken with administration officials and members of Congress to ensure a smooth transition during her exit.

“I share the president’s goal of securing the border,” Nielsen said. She did not take any questions from reporters.

 Photo: AP Images

Related articles:

DHS Secretary Nielsen Says Her Agency Considering Charges Against Sanctuary City Leaders

Kirstjen Nielsen Confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security

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