Kirstjen Nielsen resigns as secretary of Department of Homeland Security, Trump says

Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has resigned from her role in the Trump administration, the president announced Sunday.

President Donald Trump said Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, will serve as acting secretary.

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The departure announcement comes just days after Nielsen visited the U.S.-Mexico border in Calexio, California, with Trump. Her resignation was made public after a meeting on Sunday evening at the White House with the president — and amid a shakeup at the department she oversees at the direction of presidential adviser Stephen Miller, CBS News reported.

Nielsen isn’t the only administration official impacted by the apparent overhaul: On Friday, Trump announced he was pulling his nominee to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Associated Press reported. The president called Ron Vitiello — the nominee and acting head of the agency — a “good man,” but said “we’re going in a tougher direction.”

Nielsen, 46, is among the longest-serving Cabinet heads in the Trump administration, and leads the federal government’s third-biggest department, the Los Angeles Times reported last week in an article on how Nielsen had — for 15 months — “succeeded in holding onto her job, defying numerous reports that Trump had decided to fire her.”

Reuters reported in November 2018 that Trump was expected to soon remove both Nielsen and White House chief of staff John Kelly from his administration.

President Donald Trump walks with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as they visit a newly constructed part of a border wall with Mexico in Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin AP

At the Department of Homeland Security, Nielsen replaced Kelly, who left the department to take over as Trump’s chief of staff. Trump announced Kelly’s departure in early December, CNN reported, but Nielsen remained in her role.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated ...

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