Homeland Security boss to leave Trump Administration

Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks beside Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez during a multilateral meeting at the Honduran Ministry of Security in Tegucigalpa

US President Donald Trump has announced Secretary of Homeland Security Kisrtjen Nielsen is leaving her position.

The President noted that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will become acting secretary in her place. She went into a meeting with Trump at the White House in Sunday not knowing whether she'd be fired or would resign, and she ended up resigning, they said.

Nielsen is Trump's second secretary of homeland security, taking over the cabinet post in December 2017 after John Kelly became White House chief of staff. Nielsen had worked as a top aide to Kelly at both DHS and the White House.

But at the agency that oversees border protection and immigration matters - Trump's signature issue - it was inevitable Nielsen would find herself within the President's crosshairs.

Nielsen skipped last week's meeting of interior ministers from the Group of Seven countries (G-7) in Paris to deal with the migration crisis, which she compared to the aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane.

Nielsen's departure is the latest staffing shakeup in the department, which was founded to combat terrorism after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Nielsen faced more public pressure after the Trump administration enacted a policy of family separation that resulted in thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents, which the president ultimately reversed.

Although Trump's ambiguous announcement left the details of her exit up in the air, Nielsen's relationship with the president has always been said to be hard.

The 46-year-old's departure marks the end of a tortured relationship with her boss, who blamed her for a recent spike in the number of migrants coming through the Mexico border and reportedly felt she wasn't tough enough to implement his policies. And during the government shutdown over Trump's push for funding for a border wall, Nielsen's stock inside the White House even appeared to rise. "We may be going in a different direction", he said then.

"At the current pace, we are on track to encounter close to one million illegal aliens at our southern border this year", Nielsen told the House Homeland Security Committee on March 6.

The Washington Post's Robert Costa tweeted that Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli were the frontrunners to the permanent nomination.

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