Trump Will Nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to Head DHS

John Kelly

Nielsen served as DHS chief of staff to former Secretary John Kelly until he was moved to the White House in July to be President Trump's chief of staff, and she followed him there as his principal deputy chief of staff.

Following Kelly's move, Elaine Duke was named acting secretary and has coordinated the department's efforts in the wake of three major hurricanes, the largest mass shooting in modern American history and an ongoing debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Nielsen has reportedly stood steadfastly by Kelly's side through his transition process from DHS to the White House and topped the list of Kelly's personal recommendations to fill his old post.

According to Politico, White House aides recognize Nielsen for her no-nonsense approach, apparently in stark contrast to the way former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus handled things. She was Kelly's top aide when the former four-star Marine general led the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the early months of the Trump administration.

Nielsen was Kelly's chief of staff while he was Homeland Security secretary.

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Kirstjen Nielsen, Chief of Staff of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, center, walks to Air Force One as she departs Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Mr. Kelly, who has relied on Ms. Nielsen's counsel and expertise since he was preparing for his January confirmation hearing to be Homeland Security secretary, had pushed hard for her selection.

She also worked for the ransportation and Security Administration under George W Bush.

Added Frances Townsend, her boss at the White House during the Bush administration: "She is tough as nails, competent and has rightly earned the president's respect".

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