Homeland security nominee needs ‘no on-the-job training’
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump yesterday introduced his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a former staffer at the sprawling post-9/11 federal agency who he says will need “no on-the-job training” for the lead role.
Mr Trump also called on congress to “put politics aside” and confirm deputy White House chief-of-staff Kirstjen Nielsen by a “strong, bipartisan vote”. But even before Mr Trump had formally announced Ms Nielsen’s appointment, at least one congressional Democrat said her role during Hurricane Katrina should be scrutinised. The Senate must confirm her nomination.
“There will be no on-the-job training for Kirsten. She is ready on Day One,” Mr Trump said.
Elaine Duke has led the department in an acting capacity through recent destructive hurricanes in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
“In light of the serious threats facing our country, and the urgent disaster recovery efforts, I call upon the Senate to put politics aside and confirm this tremendously qualified and talented nominee with a strong bipartisan vote,” Mr Trump said.
Ms Nielsen, 45, told the President she was “humbled by the trust you are placing in me”. She stands to become the sixth secretary of the department, which was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Ms Nielsen had been chief-ofstaff to John Kelly when he was Mr Trump’s first homeland security secretary. Mr Kelly brought her to the White House after Mr Trump named him chief-of-staff in late July, and Mr Trump quickly tapped Ms Nielsen to be Mr Kelly’s deputy.
An expert in homeland security and national security policy, Ms Nielsen previously served as a special assistant to president George W. Bush and worked for the Transportation Security Administration. She’s also the first nominee to have worked for the department, the White House said.
Kirstjen Nielsen yesterday