Trump taps Nielsen for DHS chief

The Times-Tribune - - Nation - 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 post-9/11 fed­eral agency who he says will need “no on-the­job train­ing” for the lead role.

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 Trump had for­mally an­nounced Nielsen’s ap­point­ment dur­ing an East Room cer­e­mony at­tended by much of the Cabi­net and se­nior mem­bers of the White House staff, at least one con­gres­sional Demo­crat said her role dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina should be scru­ti­nized.

The Sen­ate must con­firm Nielsen’s nom­i­na­tion.

“There will be no on-the­job train­ing for Kirst­jen. 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.

EVAN VUCCI / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Kirst­jen Nielsen, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­nee for sec­re­tary of Home­land Se­cu­rity, speaks Thurs­day in the White House in Wash­ing­ton.

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