By Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would nominate acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to permanently serve in that role.
In a post on Twitter, Trump said he was “pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security.”
Trump, a Republican who faces reelection on Nov. 3, made immigration a central focus of his first term in office as well as his reelection campaign against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Still, even as immigration has been a top issue for Trump, he has cycled through leaders at DHS, which oversees immigration enforcement, and relied on many officials in temporary, “acting” positions.
Trump’s announcement comes after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found earlier this month that Wolf’s appointment as acting secretary did not follow processes outlined in federal law, and top Democrats called on Wolf and Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to step down.
Wolf led the DHS office of strategy, policy and plans before he became acting secretary in November 2019 as the fifth official in that role under Trump.
As acting secretary, he oversaw the department’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, which included the implementation of sweeping travel restrictions.
Wolf helped lead the Trump administration’s efforts in July to quell racial justice protests in Portland, Oregon, which Wolf said had been infiltrated by “lawless anarchists.”
The deployment of federal tactical teams to Portland was criticized by Democratic elected officials in the state.
(Reporting by Katanga Johnson and Ted Hesson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Bernadette Baum)