Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reaffirmed her commitment to carrying out President Trump’s agenda on Tuesday, amid reports that the White House is considering her removal.
“The secretary is honored to lead the men and women of DHS and is committed to implementing the president’s security-focused agenda to protect Americans from all threats and will continue to do so,” DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton told Homeland Security Today, the same statement that DHS sent out to the Washington Post on Monday.
Five current and former White House officials reportedly told the Washington Post that Nielsen could be let go as early as this week, and that her former boss White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has defended Nielsen and asked that her dismissal be postponed. Trump is reportedly unhappy with Nielsen’s performance over immigration enforcement.
Nielsen was hired in January 2017 as the chief of staff to then-DHS secretary Kelly, whose position at the White House is also on unsteady ground, according to ABC News.
Potential picks for a future DHS secretary include David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, and Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to the L.A. Times.
TRUMP on Kelly/Nielsen: I pressed @POTUS on reports of their impending departure. He refused to commit to anything firm but said that administration changes post midterms are common. He conceded: “I will be making a decision on homeland shortly" https://t.co/kRfRwJ0yWZ pic.twitter.com/tBKNzvABom
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) November 14, 2018