WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump formally nominated on Thursday the top deputy of White House chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Kirstjen Nielsen, 45, is regarded as an expert on cyber-security and handling disasters and has held several important posts at DHS, which was created in 2002.
“There will be no on-the-job training for Kirstjen. She is ready on day one,” Trump said in announcing the nomination.
“In light of the serious threats facing our country, and the urgent disaster recovery efforts, I call upon the Senate to put politics aside and confirm this tremendously qualified and talented nominee with a strong bipartisan vote. At this crucial time, we need the Senate to confirm a Secretary of Homeland Security, one who is ready to lead on day one,” the president said.
Nielsen was Kelly’s top aide during his six-month tenure as Homeland Security secretary and joined him at the White House when Trump tapped the Marine general to replace Reince Priebus as chief of staff.
The nomination is not expected to face any problems in the Senate, where Trump’s Republicans hold 52 of the 100 seats.
“Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you for the honor of this nomination and for your extraordinary leadership. I am humbled by the trust you are placing in me. And should I be confirmed, I will, with the utmost strength and dedication, work every day to protect and secure our homeland,” Nielsen said.