Updated Nov 1, 2019

Trump to name Chad Wolf as acting DHS chief

Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday he planned to name Chad Wolf the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Where it stands, per the Washington Post: "it was unclear whether a formal appointment had occurred" as of Friday evening, "extending confusion about who would step in to fill one of the country's most crucial national security posts."

  • A DHS spokesperson clarified to a pool reporter Friday that Wolf is currently the acting undersecretary for policy, while McAleenan continues to serve as acting secretary.
  • White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said McAleenan will step down after Nov. 11, per the New York Times. He said that once McAleenan leaves, "Wolf will serve as acting capacity in the interim.” McAleenan's tenure officially ended Thursday.
  • If appointed, Wolf would be the fifth person to hold the secretary job at DHS under President Trump.

Background: Wolf is a senior department official and was nominated by Trump in February to serve as undersecretary for the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans. He previously worked as chief of staff to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

  • Kevin McAleenan announced he was stepping down in October amid ongoing tensions with the White House.

Between the lines per a senior White House official: It's not expected that Wolf will be nominated for the permanent position.

Go deeper: McAleenan receives award from El Salvador ahead of DHS departure

Go deeper

Chad Wolf clears hurdle toward acting Homeland Security chief

Chairman Lindsey Graham speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Senate confirmed Chad Wolf to become undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote of 54-41.

Why it matters: Wolf has been serving in the position in an acting capacity. President Trump has indicated Wolf will be the next acting DHS secretary — confirmation to Wolf's current role is the first step in making that happen.

Keep ReadingArrowNov 13, 2019

Chad Wolf sworn in as acting DHS secretary

Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

Chad Wolf is now the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the Washington Post's Nick Miroff reports. He was sworn in the same day he was confirmed by the Senate to an undersecretary position.

Why it matters: Wolf is the fifth person to lead DHS under Trump, replacing Kevin McAleenan whose resignation was announced almost five weeks ago. Some hardliners have questioned his commitment to the president's immigration agenda. Wolf is expected to elevate Ken Cuccinelli — a conservative favorite serving as acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services — to the second highest position in the agency, CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported.

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Nov 13, 2019

House Democrats challenge legality of Wolf, Cuccinelli jobs at DHS

Ken Cuccinelli of the Department of Homeland Security testifies during a House Oversight subcommittee last month. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers are disputing the legality of Chad Wolf's appointment as acting Homeland Security secretary and immigration hardliner Ken Cuccinelli as his deputy, asking the U.S. Comptroller General for an expedited review. 

Why it matters: If the argument set forth by two House committee chairs on Friday prevails, it could give Democrats a path to try to block the ascension of Cuccinelli, or more broadly to seek to invalidate months of agency actions.

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019