Trump says DHS pick Nielsen will be 'ready on Day 1'

Lawrence Kim
October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON - President Trump introduced his pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security Thursday, formally nominating White House staffer and cybersecurity expert Kristjen Nielsen.

Nielsen would succeed now-White House chief of staff John Kelly in the position if confirmed by the Senate.

Nielsen formerly served as John Kelly's deputy when he held the post of Trump's first DHS secretary.

Nielsen, who now serves a Chief of Staff John Kelly's deputy, will likely be approved by the upper chamber. She previously worked as a special assistant to George W. Bush and for the Transportation Security Administration.

The president says first lady Melania Trump especially will miss Neilsen around the White House. Mr. Kelly, who spends much of his time managing the president and working to defuse brewing confrontations between Mr. Trump and senior advisers, has leaned on Ms. Nielsen to manage and impose discipline on the rest of the White House staff. "There will be no on-the-job training, she's ready from day one, " Trump said. "I am eager to hear from Ms. Nielsen on what her main priorities are for the Department and its 230,000 employees".

Mr. Kelly pushed hard for her selection, making a personal appeal to Mr. Trump during a monthslong search process.

One former Bush administration official expressed concern over her selection, describing Nielsen as less qualified than Elaine Duke, who is now leading the department in an acting capacity.

While at the Bush White House she was in charge of emergency preparedness, and came in for criticism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Duke recently got into some controversy when she said that the hurricane response effort in Puerto Rico was a "good news story".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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