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Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Francis Cissna resigned from his position as the director of U.S. citizenship and immigration services on Friday per the request of President Trump — who is expected to name Kenneth Cuccinelli, Virginia's former attorney general, as Cissna's replacement, reports Politico.

The big picture: The move to push Cissna out is part of Trump's reimagining of the Department of Homeland Security. Trump also pushed out DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April.

Details: Cuccinelli is known as a hardliner on immigration and his appointment received the support of Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller, according to the New York Times. The new position will likely be a part of the Department of Homeland Security — rather than a White House post.

Yes, but: While Trump wants a heavy-hitting immigration leader like Cuccinelli, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he would block Cuccinelli's confirmation because he led an effort in 2014 defying McConnell and promoting candidates to run against incumbent Republicans, per the Post.

Go deeper: What we know about Jared Kushner's immigration plan

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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