Trump expected to tap Nielsen to run DHS

Pauline Gross
October 12, 2017

Politico first reported Trump had chosen Nielsen.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen will be nominated by President Trump to be the new Secretary of Homeland Security. 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. Now, with Kelly's urging, President Trump will nominate Nielsen to head DHS, which has been run by acting director Elaine Duke since Kelly's departure.

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

News that she was viewed as one of Kelly's enforcers - someone who brought structure to the day-to-day operations at the White House, though some were frustrated by her direct style and role in limiting access to meetings and the Oval Office.

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The White House said Nielsen has "extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and emergency management". People close to her "have counseled her to lighten up and to pay more attention to the perfunctory niceties of a not-so-nice-job", they wrote when she became deputy White House chief of staff. She's the first nominee to lead DHS to have previously worked there.

Nielsen, 45, served as Kelly's chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security at the start of the administration and was a key player in the rollout of the president's immigration crackdown and travel ban.

"She's a total homeland security expert - absolutely has no learning curve", said Michael Allen, who worked with Ms. Nielsen during the Bush administration.

Other reports by GizPress

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