Trump introduces pick for secretary of Homeland Security

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/10/13 13:57:26

US President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Kirstjen Nielsen as his pick for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and called for a strong, bipartisan vote from Congress to confirm his pick.

During a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Trump said Nielsen will need "no on the job training" and is "ready on day one," having served as deputy White House chief of staff in the Trump administration under John Kelly. She also served as Kelly's top aide during his time as DHS secretary.

Trump said that during her time at the DHS, Nielsen was integral to the progress the administration made in "controlling borders, confronting gang violence, preparing for disasters, and protecting aviation security," while speaking highly of her role in managing White House functions and coordinating with federal agencies.

The president called upon the Senate to "put politics aside" and confirm Nielsen's nomination to lead the department, which is run by Elaine Duke on an interim basis.

For her part, Nielsen said she was humbled by the trust Trump is placing in her. If confirmed, she will become the sixth DHS secretary since the agency was created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

With degrees from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia Law School, Nielsen, 45, served as senior legislative policy director at the Transportation and Security Administration under former President George W. Bush.

While her non-nonsense style has contributed to Kelly's efforts to streamline operations and instill discipline in the White House, it has also rankled some staffers accustomed to a freewheeling West Wing under ousted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

But, viewed as a competent, experienced candidate for the job, Nielsen, as pundits said, is not expected to face a difficult confirmation process in the Senate.

The DHS bears responsibility in securing the country's borders and airports, enforcing immigration laws, coordinating disaster relief efforts and overseeing the Secret Service and Coast Guard.

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