Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

Trump expected to tap Kirstjen Nielsen to lead Department of Homeland Security

Trump expected to tap Kirstjen Nielsen to lead Department of Homeland Security

Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff, has been nominated to serve as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

But Nielsen had one crucial advantage - the absolute trust and support of Kelly, who she grew close to after volunteering to help "sherpa" him through the confirmation process earlier this year.

Her detractors viewed her no-nonsense style as brusque, and complained that she could be unresponsive as she worked with Kelly to streamline West Wing operations and instill discipline in a White House often void of structure.

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate White House aide Kirstjen Nielsen as his next secretary of Homeland Security. She also ran the Transportation Security Administration's offices of legislative policy and government affairs, a section she started.

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

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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.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement he was pleased the president had made a decision on filling the post "after letting the critical national security position remain vacant as the nation faced multiple major hurricanes and a domestic terrorism attack".

Mr. Trump could announce his choice as soon as Wednesday, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make it public.

The plans were first reported by Politico.

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