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Trump expected to nominate Kelly deputy as next DHS head

12 October 2017

President Trump has selected Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide and a former homeland security official in the George W. Bush administration, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, according to two senior administration officials and another person familiar with the decision.

The White House said Nielsen has "extensive professional experience in the areas of homeland security policy and strategy, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and emergency management". Her "rigid style" under Trump's chief of staff and her emphasis on professionalism had some White House staffers calling her "Nurse Ratched", Politico reported last month.

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The official announcement of her nomination could come as early as later on Wednesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate White House aide Kirstjen Nielsen as his next secretary of Homeland Security.

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She is now the White House principal deputy chief of staff.

After Kelly's move, the Cabinet-level DHS secretary position has gone unfilled, with Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke serving in the interim. People close to her "have counseled her to lighten up and to pay more attention to the perfunctory niceties of a not-so-nice-job", they wrote when she became deputy White House chief of staff.

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Kelly served as secretary of Homeland Security for just over six months prior to the resignation of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus in late July. But she raised eyebrows when she described the aftermath of Hurricane Maria as a "good news story". She also ran the Transportation Security Administration's offices of legislative policy and government affairs, a section she started.

Trump expected to nominate Kelly deputy as next DHS head