by Don Early and Aaron Martinez for Basin Life Magazine
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019
The latest to leave the Trump Administration is Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who met with President Trump on Sunday and abruptly resigned over apparent continued illegal border issues that department officials and Trump cannot agree on policy. Nielsen was thinking she may be fired but resigned instead.
Nielsen spoke out for the first time since announcing her resignation outside her house, telling reporters there is a “humanitarian crisis” at the border and emphasizing the need to address that. Her resignation is effective Wednesday.
“I don’t have any new announcements. I just want to thank the president again for the tremendous opportunity to serve this country. I’m forever grateful and proud of the men and women of DHS who work so hard every day to execute their missions and support the homeland,” she told reporters outside her home on Monday, taking no questions. “As you know, DHS has a vast array of missions. I want to make sure that we execute them all with excellence through the transition. I share the president’s goal of securing the border.”
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will serve as acting DHS secretary, Mr. Trump announced.
“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service,” Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday. “…I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”
- Nielsen’s exit comes as Trump eyes “tougher” approach on immigration
Nielsen agreed to stay on as secretary through Wednesday, April 10th to assist with an orderly transition and ensure that key DHS missions are not impacted. Her departure is a part of a massive DHS overhaul engineered and directed by top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, according to a senior U.S. official. It’s unclear whether Nielsen is deciding to leave voluntarily, or whether she has been pressured to resign.
Neisen said: “This afternoon I submitted my resignation to @POTUS and thanked him for the opportunity to serve in his administration. It’s been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of @DHSgov,” Nielsen wrote in her resignation letter, which she tweeted Sunday evening. “I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards.”
Nielsen’s announced exit comes two days after Mr. Trump announced he wants to go in a “tougher” direction in his nomination for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, after originally announcing Ron Vitiello would head ICE. Nielsen’s departure also means acting heads will soon be running DHS, the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Nielsen has also been one of only four women serving in Cabinet-level positions in the Trump administration, the others being Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Actress Felicity Huffman has agreed to plead guilty in the college admissions cheating scandal.
Court documents made public Monday show Huffman and 12 other prominent parents will plead guilty in the scheme. Huffman was accused of paying $15,000 to have a proctor boost her older daughter’s SAT score.
Huffman was among 50 people charged in what authorities have described as the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.
Officials say parents paid an admissions consultant to rig their children’s test scores and bribe coaches at elite universities to designate their kids as athletic recruits.
Fellow actress Lori Loughlin and Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are also charged in the scam. They are not among those who’ve agreed to plead guilty and haven’t publicly addressed the allegations.
Statement from Felicity Huffman:
“I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office.
I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.
I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.
My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
Secret Service director out less than 24 hours after DHS secretary resigns
Secret Service Director Randolph Alles is leaving his position at the direction of President Donald Trump,according to two administration officials familiar with the decision.
“United States Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles has done a great job at the agency over the last two years, and the President is thankful for his over 40 years of service to the country,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “Mr. Alles will be leaving shortly and President Trump has selected James M. Murray, a career member of the USSS, to take over as director beginning in May.”
It was unclear what prompted his firing, but the news comes less than 24 hours after Trump forced out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The Secret Service director reports direct to the Homeland Security secretary.
Insiders say U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are also expected to depart soon, according to one official — raising the prospect of a much broader cleaning of house among the Homeland Security leadership ranks.”
“By the end of the week, more than half of the department’s agency heads could be gone with the positions vacant or with acting [personnel],” one senior administration official told some reporters.