Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan steps down

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2019

The president added that the new acting homeland security secretary would be announced next week and said he had "Many wonderful candidates" to fill the position.

Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down.

President Donald Trump announced McAleenan's resignation via Twitter on Friday evening, saying the interim cabinet official wanted to "spend more time with his family and go to the private sector".

McAleenan took over for Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2019. Trump hasn't named anyone to the job yet - the acting deputy is David Pekoske, the head of the Transportation Security Administration. In the interim, Trump surrounded McAleenan with immigration hard-liners like Cuccinelli and Morgan, who support the president's more nativist approach.

McAleenan previously served as commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection after having served as acting commissioner since the beginning of the Trump administration.

Just last week, he spoke to the Washington Post about what the paper described as his "unease" with a law enforcement agency being used for partisan political purposes.

The 240,000-person department is tasked with election security and cybersecurity, disaster response and even the Secret Service.

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.

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