May 18, 2019

DHS encourages cyber staff to volunteer at U.S.-Mexico border

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security is asking members of its cybersecurity staff to leave their posts and travel to the U.S.-Mexico border after an earlier request from the agency failed to recruit enough officials, according to an email obtained by The Daily Beast.

The big picture: The request, from staff who handle other threats such as cyber and infrastructure work, is based on the DHS's focus on protecting the border from migrants. Though it's unclear if there is an adequate number of volunteers for the agency, DHS is reaching out to other teams like its intelligence arm, because "serving the needs of the homeland is the cornerstone of what we do," per the memo.

Go deeper: DHS blames "political and economic environment" for border patrol hiring crisis

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John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.