The Latest: Nielsen opens new DHS campus on her last day
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration and immigration (all times local):
Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is welcoming employees to their new campus on her last day on the job.
The guests included some officials who have recently been pushed out by the Trump administration, including the head of Secret Service, acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and acting deputy secretary for Homeland Security.
They all gathered in the sunshine outside the new headquarters on Wednesday on the site of a former psychiatric hospital.
Kevin McAleenan, the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection who is taking over as acting DHS secretary, also attended, shaking hands with employees and giving Nielsen a standing ovation. Transportation and Security Administrator David Pekoske, who has been tapped as acting DHS deputy secretary, was also on hand.
Nielsen welcomed everyone to the new campus, joking that the construction took so long she wasn’t sure she’d still be secretary when it opened. She just made it, she quipped.
She said serving in the post has been the honor of a lifetime.
President Donald Trump says there’s only one person in charge of his immigration policy: Him.
Trump was asked as he was leaving the White House Wednesday whether he had ever considering tapping his influential aide, Stephen Miller, to lead the department in the wake of Kirstjen Nielsen’s departure.
Trump says Miller is an “excellent guy’ and a “brilliant man,” but said, “Frankly, there’s only one person that’s running it: You know who that is? It’s me.”
Trump has picked United States Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan to serve as acting secretary. Asked whether he might keep him on permanently, Trump said he likes McAleenan “a lot” and that it “could happen.”
He adds that, “right now” McAleenan is “the man.”