Tags: Homeland Security | Immigration | Trump Administration | kevin mcaleenan | dhs | ken cuccinelli | zero tolerance

McAleenan on Way Out at DHS, Cuccinelli Favored Successor

kevin mcaleenan gestures as he speaks during a news conference with an american flag in the background
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan (Salvador Melendez/AP)

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Thursday, 03 October 2019 08:56 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Sources within the Department of Homeland Security told Newsmax on Thursday they expect Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan to leave his position soon.

The so-called "last straw" for McAleenan, never thought to have a close relationship with the Trump White House, was a recent interview with The Washington Post in which the Homeland Security chief said Trump's "Zero Tolerance" policy to prosecute all illegal entrants coming over the border "went too far."

Asked about McAleenan's resignation, one source who spoke to us under promise of anonymity said: "The long and the short of it is it's coming."

The same sources agree the front-runner to replace him is Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, acting director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Office (CIS).

Easily the most visible face of the administration's hard-line policy on illegal immigration, former Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli is said to be "very willing" to assume the Cabinet-level DHS position.

"Ken has been campaigning for DHS Secretary," joked one veteran White House correspondent, noting Cuccinelli's vigorous regimen of appearances on cable news programs and radio talk shows.

Few Republicans on Capitol Hill expect Cuccinelli's name will be submitted to the Senate for nomination to the permanent secretaryship and President Trump will instead give him the "acting" status he has carried at CIS and McAleenan carries at DHS.

This is in part because many Republican senators — notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky. — recall Cuccinelli's tenure as president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee that has supported challengers from the right against incumbent GOP senators.

McAleenan was formerly U.S. Customs Commissioner from 2017-18 until he succeeded controversial DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2018.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Sources within the Department of Homeland Security told Newsmax's John Gizzi on Thursday they expect Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan to leave his position soon.
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2019-56-03
Thursday, 03 October 2019 08:56 PM
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