Trump Fires Director of Secret Service After Mar-a-Lago Flap
President Donald Trump fired the director of Secret Service on Monday, just 24 hours after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in the face of withering criticism from the president regarding a spike in Central American migrants crossing the border.
The administration confirmed the departure of Secret Service Director Randolph Alles late Monday afternoon through a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“United States Secret Service director Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles has done a great job at the agency over the last two years, and the President is thankful for his over 40 years of service to the country,” Sanders said.
The statement said that the president has selected James Murray, a career Secret Service official, to take over as director in May.
One other official, Ron Vitiello, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Services, was told he was being replaced last Friday by someone who would move ICE in a “tougher” direction.
The New York Times reported Monday that L. Francis Cissna, the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and John Mitnik, general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, are also headed to the door.
The purge, if it comes to pass, appears to have two purposes: to remove allies of John Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff, from the administration, and to replace officials Trump believes have failed to carry out his hard line demands when it comes to border security.
According to multiple published reports, Alles was told about 10 days ago to start planning his departure, but he was assured he could leave on his own timeline.
That thinking evidently changed over the weekend. CNN, citing multiple administration officials, reported that Trump ordered acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to fire Alles.
Alles departure was sought, in part, because of the recent arrest of a Chinese woman who carrying a malware-laced device on the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort property in Palm Beach, Florida, exposed holes in the security of the private club.
Still, Trump’s move is seen as somewhat extraordinary. Presidents rarely criticize the Secret Service, which provides protection for them and their families.
As for Nielsen, she told reporters gathered outside her Alexandria, Virginia, home on Monday that she will keep supporting “all efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis” on the border.
She also thanked Trump for “the tremendous opportunity to serve this country” and said she’s spent the last 24 hours talking to administration officials and members of Congress to ensure a smooth transition.
Trump tweeted Sunday that Kevin McAleenan, the current commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, will serve as acting Homeland Security secretary starting on Wednesday.
In The News
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House on Wednesday floated new plans to pay for parts... Read More
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House on Wednesday floated new plans to pay for parts of President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social services and climate change package, shelving a proposed big increase in corporate tax rates though also adding a new... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scaling down his "build back better" plans, President Joe Biden on Tuesday described a more limited vision... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scaling down his "build back better" plans, President Joe Biden on Tuesday described a more limited vision to Democratic lawmakers of a $2 trillion government-overhaul package with at least $500 billion to tackle climate change and money for middle-class priorities — child tax... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is entering a crucial two weeks for his ambitious agenda, racing to conclude contentious... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is entering a crucial two weeks for his ambitious agenda, racing to conclude contentious congressional negotiations ahead of both domestic deadlines and a chance to showcase his administration's accomplishments on a global stage. Biden and his fellow Democrats are struggling... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A presidential panel charged with considering the pros and cons of altering the size and function of the... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A presidential panel charged with considering the pros and cons of altering the size and function of the U.S. Supreme Court is instead calling out the Senate confirmation process for justices. In draft documents released ahead of a public meeting on Friday, the Presidential... Read More
WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a... Read More
WASHINGTON -- They’ve almost become as ubiquitous as scenes of weathermen and women leaning into the fierce winds of a tropical storm during hurricane season. We refer, of course, to the daily television news footage of a reporter bobbing up and down in a decidedly modest... Read More
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Beleaguered business owners and families separated by COVID-19 restrictions rejoiced Wednesday after the U.S. said it... Read More
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Beleaguered business owners and families separated by COVID-19 restrictions rejoiced Wednesday after the U.S. said it will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze. Travel across land borders from Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted... Read More