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Trump Says This Guy Is DHS Chief 'Right Now'

But Chad Wolf may not have the job for long
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2019 10:30 AM CDT
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In this Oct. 29, 2019 photo, Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chad Wolf speaks during a meeting of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the White House complex in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – A guy named Chad Wolf might be the new acting Homeland Security chief—at least for now. President Trump casually named him to the position on Friday after reporters inquired about rumors to that effect, the Washington Post reports. "Well he's right now acting and we'll see what happens," Trump said. But administration officials say the transition hasn't happened yet, and Kevin McAleenan, the acting DHS secretary, is still on the job. A White House spokesman later said McAleenan would stay on past Friday—his planned last day—to smooth out the Wolf transition. But a White House official said Trump doesn't plan to keep Wolf, who is acting undersecretary for DHS policy and a former lobbyist.

Could be Trump really wants immigration hardliner Ken Cuccinelli in the slot. Top White House officials say the administration delayed naming a DHS secretary while seeking ways to name Cuccinelli, who's currently acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. But he wasn't eligible under the federal Vacancies Act, which says new cabinet-level officials must be next in line for the post, approved by the Senate, and have 90 days of service under the previous secretary, per the New York Times. Not to mention Cuccinelli "is loathed" by Sen. Mitch McConnell and other Republicans, says Politico. But the White House might try naming Cuccinelli to another position from which he can be elevated to take Wolf's job. (Read more Department of Homeland Security stories.)

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