Trump unexpectedly announces resignation of his acting Homeland Security secretary

  • Trump unexpectedly announces resignation of his acting Homeland Security secretary

Trump unexpectedly announces resignation of his acting Homeland Security secretary

President Trump said late Friday that he was replacing Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, after a tenure where McAleenan lowered border crossings but clashed with other senior immigration officials and struggled to earn the trust of the president. While Trump said he would be nominating a new acting secretary next week, from "many wonderful candidates", the position would normally pass to the current acting Deputy Secretary, David Pekoske - a retired US Coast Guard vice-admiral who now serves as head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Allies of Trump had expressed anger and blasted as "unforgivable" McAleenan's comments last week to the Washington Post, where he publicly spoke of his frustration with the president, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, and acting US Customs and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli.

In the President's tweet, he said McAleenan is leaving his position to "spend more time with and family" and work in the "private sector".

McAleenan took over for Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2019.

"What I don't have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time", McAleenan said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The departure continues a purge of leadership at the Department of Homeland Security at Trump's behest and raises more uncertainty over management at the massive agency created after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

He was well-liked among Republican and Democratic administrations. But he said McAleenan remains a poor fit to lead DHS.