Home­land se­cu­rity nom­i­nee needs ‘no on-the-job train­ing’

The Weekend Australian - - WORLD - AP AP

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

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