LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Trump Expected To Nominate Kirstjen Nielsen As Next Homeland Security Secretary

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen speak together as they walk across the South Lawn of the White House in August.

Updated at 3:33 p.m. ET

President Trump is expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next homeland security secretary, an administration official confirms to NPR's Mara Liasson.

Nielsen would succeed now-White House chief of staff John Kelly in the position, and she currently serves as Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff and was also his chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security. If nominated, Nielsen will be subject to Senate confirmation.

Nielsen is an attorney who has prior experience in homeland security and cybersecurity, having served on the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush. She also created and managed the office of Legislative Policy and Government Affairs at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Elaine Duke has been serving as acting DHS secretary since Kelly departed the agency for the White House in July. Duke recently got into some controversy when she said that the hurricane response effort in Puerto Rico was a "good news story." That comment drew a critical response from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has been an outspoken critic of how the Trump administration has responded to the situation on the ground in Puerto Rico.

The trust Kelly has in Nielsen will be crucial as, if confirmed, she'll have plenty on her plate. Increased border security and a possible overhaul of the immigration system remain top campaign promises Trump has yet to fulfill, including his trademark wall on the border with Mexico. A case challenging some aspects of the president's controversial ban on travelers from certain countries will soon be heard before the Supreme Court. And DHS will play a crucial role in continued recovery efforts after a particularly brutal hurricane season that devastated parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Nielsen's work on former President George W. Bush's botched hurricane relief efforts could come under scrutiny from Democrats. In a statement soon after news broke of Neilsen's anticipated nomination, House Homeland Security Committee ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said he was "concerned about her past work in the Bush Administration during its botched response to Hurricane Katrina and am fearful that DHS — as well as this President — has not learned all the lessons from that tragedy given what we are seeing unravel in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands."

NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org