Trump: DHS secretary nominee is job-ready
WASHINGTON » President Donald Trump on Thursday introduced his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a former staffer at the sprawling federal agency.
Trump also called on Congress to “put politics aside” and confirm deputy White House chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen by a “strong, bipartisan vote.”
Before Trump had formally announced Nielsen’s appointment in an East Room ceremony, at least one congressional Democrat said her role during Hurricane Katrina should be scrutinized.
The Senate must confirm Nielsen’s nomination.
“Therewill be no on-thejob training for Kirsten. She is ready on Day One,” Trump said, essentially declaring her fit to begin serving, if not for the Senate. Elaine Duke has led the department in an acting capacity through the recent destructive hurricanes in Texas , F lor ida , Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands.
Nielsen told the president she was “humbled by the trust you are placing in me.” She stands to become the sixth secretary of the department, whichwas created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Nielsen had been chief of staff to John Kelly when hewas Trump’s first homeland security secretary.
An expert in homeland security and national security policy, 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.