Kevin McAleenan: US Homeland Security chief steps down

Evan Vucci  AP FILE

President Donald Trump has said Kevin McAleenan is out as the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

'I will be announcing the new Acting Secretary next week.

"Kevin now, after many years in government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector", Trump posted minutes before he was supposed to appear at a campaign rally in Louisiana.

"Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done", Trump continued.

Mr McAleenan is the fourth person to serve as the head of Homeland Security during Mr Trump's tenure.

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Since April, former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles and acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Ronald Vitiello have resigned. Trump hasn't named anyone to the job yet - the acting deputy is David Pekoske, the head of the Transportation Security Administration. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down.

"The DHS secretary should be somebody who is completely part of the team, and while McAleenan is not some guerrilla fighter of the resistance, he's not really totally on board the Trump train", he said.

In fact, McAleenan's star had waned considerably within Trump's orbit of late.

In an interview with the Washington Post, published on October 1, he complained that he does not control "the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time", describing that as "uncomfortable" situation for the acting department chief. The president's signature issue makes the department his focus and his ire.

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