Trump taps Kelly deputy Kirstjen Nielsen to run Homeland Security

Kirstjen Nielsen and John Kelly are pictured here. | AP Photo

Kirstjen Nielsen moved with John Kelly to the West Wing as his principal deputy chief of staff when he was appointed as White House chief of staff in July, leaving the cabinet post vacant. | Andrew Harnik/AP

The White House announced on Wednesday that President Trump planned to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to be Homeland Security secretary. Nielsen, 45, is White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s chief deputy, and she served as his top aide when he was DHS secretary. Kelly’s recommendation helped vault her past other candidates to the top of Trump’s short list. Nielsen is a cybersecurity expert and lawyer, and has extensive experience in homeland security. “She would be the first person to run the department who has actually worked there,” a person close to the administration said. “She has a deep familiarity.”

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