FBI veteran Mark Morgan, President Trump’s pick to head U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was ousted from his position running U.S. Border Patrol at the start of the Trump administration, but since then has appeared frequently on cable news advocating for the president’s immigration policies, The Washington Post reports. The president’s announcement in a pair of tweets — an initial Sunday morning tweet followed by one in the evening that clarified he would nominate Morgan, and not just appoint him in an acting-director role — caught White House aides and Homeland Security officials by surprise. They had not been informed Morgan was Trump’s choice, and at ICE, senior leaders learned of the decision from the president’s tweet, according to two senior administration officials.
Trump last month pulled the nomination of his previous choice to run ICE, Ronald Vitiello, saying that he wanted to go in “a tougher direction.” Trump last month cleared out the leadership ranks of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, and has sought to install officials whom he perceives as loyal to the White House. Particularly on Fox News, Morgan has given his support to the president’s declaration of a national emergency to enable him to build a border wall. And he often recounts his time working on the border in El Paso and tracking MS-13 in California during his long career in the FBI.