Trump nominates his deputy chief of staff to lead DHS

Trump to nominate White House aide as DHS secretary

US President Donald Trump has nominated White House deputy chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next US homeland security secretary. She is his choice to replace John Kelly, who is now Trump's chief of staff.

Trump opened up his announcement by praising Kelly's tenure as Homeland Security secretary, and then reiterated how glad he is that he is still in the White House.

Nielsen, who now serves a Chief of Staff John Kelly's deputy, will likely be approved by the upper chamber. Earlier in her career, she worked as a special assistant to former President George W. Bush.

For instance, Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee was also among those that were being considered for the position.

"Kirstjen was integral to the progress we have made in controlling our borders, confronting gang violence, preparing for disasters and protecting aviation security", Trump said Thursday afternoon.

Nielsen is now the White House principal deputy chief of staff.

The trust Kelly has in Nielsen will be crucial because, if confirmed, she'll have plenty on her plate. She's the first nominee to lead DHS to have previously worked there. "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".

Neither the White House nor Nielsen responded to requests for comment.

Elaine Duke has been serving as acting DHS secretary since Kelly departed the agency for the White House in July.

"I think her credentials are being a little bit inflated", said the former official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. She was forced to clarify her claim last month that the federal response to Maria is "a good news story".

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