Trump expected to tap Nielsen to run DHS

Isaac Cain
October 12, 2017

The White House said on Wednesday that Donald Trump will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to serve as his next secretary of homeland security.

Neither the White House nor Nielsen responded to requests for comment on the plans, which were first reported by Politico.

The White House says Nielsen has "extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and emergency management".

Kirstjen Nielsen, left, will be nominated to replace her former boss, John Kelly, as 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.

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

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Following Kelly's move, Elaine Duke was named acting secretary and has coordinated the department's efforts in the wake of three major hurricanes, the largest mass shooting in modern American history and an ongoing debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

It was not immediately clear when Nielsen's nomination would be announced.

Putting Nielsen into the Homeland Security post will allow Trump and Kelly to keep a close eye on the department, but getting her out of the White House could permit some relaxing of Kelly's strictness. She was responsible for carrying out some of Kelly's orders on who gets access to the president.

NBC News noted that Nielsen was a "key player" in Trump's travel ban and restrictions on immigration. Prior to that, she worked as president and general counsel for the homeland and national security arm of the Civitas Group, a consulting firm.

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