The White House is looking at a legal change that could clear the way for President Donald Trump to appoint Ken Cuccinelli as the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
Trump had been told last week that his top choices for the job, Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection were both ineligible because of a federal law on vacancies.
But the White House is considering a plan to change the line of succession at the department to bypass the vacancies law and appoint Cuccinelli or someone else, the newspaper said. White House officials are asking the Justice Department if the plan is legal.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has resigned and his last day is expected to be Thursday.
The New York Times reported that under the plan, the White House would name someone to be assistant secretary of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, which is vacant. It would then move that person up to be acting secretary of Homeland Security.
Sources told the Journal that Trump, who has told allies that he wants Cuccinelli, has not made a final decision on who should lead the department. In addition, he has not yet decided whether he will pursue the legal change, the newspaper said.
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