U.S. President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he would nominate Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Homeland Security Department, to serve permanently in the position.
“I am pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security,” Trump tweeted. “Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!”
I am pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2020
Wolf has served as a temporary secretary for almost one year.
“I am honored to be nominated by President Trump to lead the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security in safeguarding the American people,” Wolf said in a statement. “As the Homeland faces evolving threats from natural disasters, violent opportunists, malign cyber actors, and transnational criminal organizations, the mission of DHS is as critical as ever.”
Wolf was appointed acting DHS secretary in November 2019, a month after predecessor Kevin McAleenan stepped down from his six-month stint as acting head. McAleenan took over in April 2019 when former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned after a disagreement over U.S.-Mexico border policy.
Trump’s announcement Tuesday came less than two weeks after a government watchdog said both Wolf and McAleenan were improperly appointed to their positions.
In an Aug. 14 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the men were ineligible to serve because the DHS did not follow the chain of succession laid out in federal law after Nielsen left. The GAO provides nonpartisan information to Congress.
The DHS requested that the GAO rescind the nonbinding decision, calling it “fundamentally erroneous,” but the government watchdog refused.
“DHS has not demonstrated that our prior decision contains errors of either fact or law, nor has DHS presented information not previously considered that warrants reversal or modification of our decision,” wrote GAO General Counsel Thomas Armstrong.
In addition to his disputed position as Acting DHS Secretary, Wolf has been under fire for the recent deployment of federal officers to U.S. cities embroiled in protests against racism and police brutality.
Wolf is the fifth official to serve as Acting DHS Secretary under Trump. His nomination, which requires Senate confirmation, faces significant opposition. Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, is on the Senate committee that would hold Wolf’s hearing.
Wolf will travel Thursday to Texas to celebrate the completion of 483 kilometers (300 miles) of the border wall.
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