President Donald Trump is removing the director of the US Secret Service, the agency that provides protection for him and other top US officials, the White House said on Monday (April 8), a day after the ouster of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, According to CNN.
The dismissal of Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles comes amid major leadership changes at the sprawling Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Secret Service director reports to the Homeland Security secretary.
The first sign of the overhaul came late on Thursday, when Trump abruptly pulled his nomination of Ron Vitiello as director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of DHS. Trump described that move as part of a policy change “going in a tougher direction”.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said James Murray, a career Secret Service agent, will take over the Secret Service in May.
A senior administration official said Trump asked for Nielsen’s resignation when the two met at the White House on Sunday.
Trump also announced that Kevin McAleenan, the US Customs and Border Protection commissioner, would become acting DHS secretary. One official described the firings to CNN as “a near-systematic purge” at the Department of Homeland Security.
A source familiar with the director said his ouster was not related to the recent scrutiny the Secret Service got after a Chinese woman illegally entered the President’s Mar-a-Lago club carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware.
Fox News cited sources as saying Alles’ removal was part of a transition in leadership at DHS.