National Security

Trump Has Reportedly Picked Kelly’s Replacement At DHS

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
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President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security, filling the vacancy created when John Kelly left the posting to become White House chief of staff.

Nielsen was one of Kelly’s top aides during his time as DHS secretary and moved with him to the White House as his principal deputy chief of staff.

A cybersecurity expert, Nielsen, 45, has served in government security positions, including tours at the Transportation Security Administration and the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first former DHS employee to run the department in its 14-year history.

The pick, which could be officially announced as soon as Wednesday, was first reported by Politico and then corroborated by USA TODAY.

Nielsen reportedly developed a close working relationship with Kelly during the presidential transition and helped guide the former Marine general through the Senate confirmation process. She rose to the top of the White House list for potential replacements at Kelly’s recommendation, reports Politico.

Nielsen holds degrees from Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia Law School, according to USA TODAY.

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