The Trump administration is starting anew in its search for a Department of Homeland Security secretary, reports Politico. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) had been considered the front-runner for the job, but he no longer is in contention, sources said. White House chief of staff John Kelly, who led DHS before being tapped for his new job, raised red flags about McCaul’s stance on immigration, which has at times diverged from that of President Trump. One person close to the process said the Trump administration is now “back to square one” on the search.
The department is being headed by Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, a DHS veteran who was Kelly’s deputy, as it copes with the fallout from Trump’s new travel restrictions, his decision to end DACA and a series of powerful hurricanes that have ravaged Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. McCaul is in lockstep with Trump on many issues. He is pushing legislation that would provide $10 billion for a border wall with Mexico. He also has broken with the president over his travel ban, distancing himself from the restrictions and criticizing its haphazard rollout as “problematic.” McCaul has bashed Trump’s response to the Russia investigations, saying, “It sort of looks paranoid to me.”