Kirstjen Nielsen Resigns As Homeland Security Chief

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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President Donald Trump announced Sunday that Kirstjen Nielsen is resigning as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, bringing an end to an at-times rocky relationship between the two.

Trump said on Twitter that Kevin McAleenan, the current commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will take over as acting homeland security secretary.

The announcement came shortly after Nielsen met with Trump privately at the White House to discuss her future.

Trump and Nielsen have battled behind the scenes over the administration’s immigration policy and efforts to build a wall on the southern border. That tension reached its breaking point in the days after Trump abruptly pulled the nomination of Ronald Vitiello to head U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (RELATED: Kirstjen Nielsen: Crisis At The Border Is Getting Worse By The Day)

Trump said he wanted to go with someone “tougher” for the position. Vitiello reportedly opposed Trump’s threats to close off the southern border.

Trump has also reportedly blamed Nielsen for a spike in apprehensions at the border of migrant families trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen has been in the administration since Trump’s inauguration, first serving as chief of staff to John Kelly, the first homeland security secretary. Nielsen served as Kelly’s deputy when he joined the White House as chief of staff.

She was confirmed as DHS secretary on Dec. 6, 2017.

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