President Trump wants Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia attorney general and leader of the anti-establishment Senate Conservatives Fund, to be director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Cuccinelli has little chance of getting Senate approval for the job, Politico reports. “He’s spent a fair amount of his career attacking Republicans in the Senate, so it strikes me as an odd position for him to put himself in to seek Senate confirmation,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who ran the GOP’s campaign arm for two election cycles. “It’s unlikely he’s going to be confirmed if he is nominated.”
The nascent nomination fight is again pitting the president against his own party in Congress. Just this spring, because of strong opposition from Senate Republicans, Trump yanked his two preferred picks for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors before they even had been nominated. Immigration has been a particular sore spot: Every leadership position at the Department of Homeland Security related to immigration is filled only by people serving in an acting capacity. White House officials are mulling the prospect of having Cuccinelli do the same. Cuccinelli is hanging in. He says, “My focus right now is on achieving President Trump’s immigration goals. It would certainly be my hope that senators’ primary interest is in the accomplishment of policy rather than politics.” Cuccinelli’s organization has tried to oust GOP incumbents in favor of more conservative challengers.