Trump to Nominate Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen to Lead DHS

Trump to Nominate Deputy Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen to Lead DHS

That's according to three people familiar with decision.

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge - the first person to ever hold the position, which President George W. Bush created in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks - praised Nielsen in a statement, calling her a "homeland security veteran" who is "extremely well versed" in the threats facing the U.S.

Kirstjen Nielsen, Chief of Staff John Kelly's No. 2 in the White House and previously at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), may be taking her boss's old job as DHS secretary. Prior to serving the Trump administration, she spent time on the White Hose National Security Council under President George W. Bush and as a senior fellow and member of the Resilience Task Force for George Washington University's Center for Cyber & Homeland Security think tank.

Nielsen previously worked as Kelly's chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security and then followed him into the White House when he replaced Reince Priebus as Trump's White House chief of staff at the end of July.

But Thompson said he had questions about her background, including her past work for the Bush administration. While two of those people cautioned that the president could always change his mind before a formal announcement, the others said the decision was slated to be announced formally Thursday.

It was not immediately clear when Nielsen's nomination would be announced. She also created and managed the office of Legislative Policy and Government Affairs at the Transportation Security Administration.

"[Nielsen] would be the first person to run the department who has actually worked there", a person close to the administration told Politico.

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