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Monday, October 2, 2023

White House Says it Pulled DHS Nomination for Wolf as Acting Secretary Condemns Capitol Riot

The White House today announced that it withdrew the nomination of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to serve in the full-time role.

The announcement came shortly after Wolf issued a statement this morning decrying the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and declaring that “we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political end.”

“I will remain in my position until the end of the Administration to ensure the Department’s focus remains on the serious threats facing our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team,” Wolf added.

In August, after more than 500 days without a Senate-confirmed DHS secretary, President Trump tweeted that he intended to nominate Wolf. That announcement came days after the Government Accountability Office refused a DHS request to rescind their report that found the appointments of Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli invalid.

Wolf, former chief of staff at the Transportation Security Administration and later at the Department of Homeland Security under former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, served as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Plans, Analysis & Risk and as Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Policy, and Plans when he was named to the acting secretary role after Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan’s departure from DHS in November 2019.

Wolf had his nomination hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in late September, and his nomination had not advanced.

The White House said the nomination withdrawal was sent to the Senate on Jan. 3, the first day of the 117th Congress.

“What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,” Wolf said in a statement today about the Capitol riot. “While I have consistently condemned political violence on both sides of the aisle, specifically violence directed at law enforcement, we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends. This is unacceptable. These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday.”

“DHS takes the safety and security of all Americans very seriously — it’s at the core of our mission to defend our homeland. Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans,” he continued. “Every American is guaranteed the right to peacefully protest, but once those protests become violent, we should enforce our laws and bring those responsible to justice — regardless of political motivations. After a challenging and saddening 2020, it’s time for every American to respect each other and the rule of law in 2021.”

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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