WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would nominate Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf to permanently serve in the 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 re-election on Nov. 3, made immigration a central focus of his first term in office as well as in his re-election 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.
Trump's announcement comes after here 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 sweeping immigration and 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 officials in Oregon.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Wolf on Tuesday during a call with reporters.
“I think given his past actions, he’s an awful choice.” Schumer said.
The nomination comes after more than 70 former Republican national security officials endorsed Biden last week, saying Trump had engaged in corrupt behavior “that renders him unfit to serve as president.”
Reporting by Katanga Johnson and Ted Hesson; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.