Top Aide To John Kelly Named To Head DHS

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President Donald Trump on Thursday said his nominee for secretary Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, will be "ready on Day 1" because of her prior experience in the department.

"There will be no on-the-job training", he said. Under the Bush administration, she also served as special assistant to the president and senior director for prevention, preparedness and response on the White House Homeland Security Council.


If established Ms. Nielsen would substitute John F. Kelly, who was homeland security secretary until he departed to perform as the White House chief of staff and usher regulation and orientation to a West Wing tormented by chaos and dissonance. Her supporters say she has been trying to help professionalize the White House.

Nielsen has drawn some criticism as she and Kelly have tried to bring order to Trump's chaotic administration. She now serves as Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff and was also his chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.


As for this pick itself, Nielsen does appear on paper to be qualified for the position and it's about time that the role of DHS Secretary, which has been filled by a deputy since Kelly left in July, finally gets filled with a Presidential appointee.

Trump urged the Senate to "put politics aside" and swiftly confirm Nielsen "in light of the serious threats facing our country and the natural disaster recovery efforts".


Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), a ranking member of the House Homeland Security panel, said he was pleased Trump had selected a permanent agency head "after letting the critical national security position remain vacant as the nation faced multiple major hurricanes and a domestic terrorism attack". When Kelly served as Homeland Security secretary until recently, Nielsen was his top aide.

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