Trump to nominate White House aide to head DHS

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The White House will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to head the Department of Homeland Security, a senior US government official confirmed to FedScoop.

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge issued a statement praising Nielsen on Wednesday, calling her a "homeland security veteran" and saying: "Kirstjen can hit the ground running and there won't be a learning curve".

Kirstjen Nielsen, an expert in cybersecurity and former member of the White House Homeland Security Council, will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Politico and other outlets are reporting.

Nielsen is also known for being a brusque enforcer of Kelly's agenda in the West Wing, where her reportedly curt, no-nonsense manner caused some backlash among Trump aides.

Prior to Nielsen's work for the current administration, she consulted on homeland security and preparedness matters, according to her biography at The George Washington University where she was a senior fellow at the school's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.


One former Homeland Security official, who asked for anonymity so that the person could speak candidly, says the pick is a controversial one, and that people at the department are already speaking about leaving if the nomination moves forward.

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate White House aide Kirstjen Nielsen as his next secretary of Homeland Security.

Following Kelly's move, Elaine Duke was named acting secretary and has coordinated the department's efforts in the wake of three major hurricanes, the largest mass shooting in modern American history and an ongoing debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Added Frances Townsend, her boss at the White House during the Bush administration: "She is tough as nails, competent and has rightly earned the president's respect".

"[Nielsen] would be the first person to run the department who has actually worked there", a person close to the administration told Politico.

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