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Trump to nominate Wolf as secretary of Homeland Security

Chad Wolf has served as acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security since November. Pool Photo by Alex Wong/UPI
Chad Wolf has served as acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security since November. Pool Photo by Alex Wong/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he plans to nominate Chad Wolf to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to make official the role he has fulfilled in a temporary capacity since November.

The president made the announcement on Twitter.

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"I am pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!" Trump wrote.

The president first named Wolf as acting secretary in November, the same day the Senate voted to confirm him as undersecretary of the department's Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans.

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Wolf replaced former acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, whom was never formally nominated to serve in the position. McAleenan replaced Kirstjen Nielsen.

Before her, Elaine Duke served as acting secretary after John Kelly's July 2017 departure to serve as chief of staff. Kelly is no longer with the White House.

Wolf has worked at the Department of Homeland Security since the beginning of Trump's administration, both at the Transportation Security Administration and as chief of staff to Nielsen.

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In August, the Government Accountability Office said Wolf was not legally entitled to hold his position as acting secretary because he assumed the job under a succession plan crafted in November by McAleenan, who himself had no authority to hold his job under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

The watchdog report said McAleenan shouldn't have taken over the department after Nielsen resigned in April 2019 because the grounds for his succession applies only to the secretary's unavailability as a result of disaster or catastrophic emergency.

Critics say the administration illegally fills top posts with temporary appointments without seeking congressional confirmation.

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