Trump: DHS sec­re­tary nom­i­nee is job-ready

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Darlene Superville

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.


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