Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

McAleenan testifies at a House committee hearing in July. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan's top aide and spokesperson is resigning amid frustration in the White House over the Department of Homeland Security's handling of major policy rollouts and White House distrust of McAleenan and his inner circle, sources familiar with his resignation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Andrew Meehan's departure comes amid broader internal tensions between the White House and DHS leadership. President Trump is wary of McAleenan, whom he associates with the Obama administration, and his top aides, several current and former administration officials tell us. These sources say Trump has no intention of formally nominating McAleenan for a permanent position.

  • "Meehan, who was in Panama in advance of the secretary's visit during the Flores rollout, made the decision to leave government a couple of weeks ago," a senior DHS official told Axios.
  • The White House and DHS did not respond to Axios' requests for comment.

Behind the scenes: These growing tensions were exacerbated by what some White House officials saw as DHS’ botched rollout of a new proposal that would reverse the Flores agreement, a decades-old court decision that prevents the government from holding minors in detention for longer than 20 days with their parents, per sources with direct knowledge.

  • White House press and communications officials were frustrated with McAleenan for holding a press conference about the new proposal at the Ronald Reagan building, which houses U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's D.C. office, rather than at a location like the White House that would have attracted more media attention, according to senior administration officials.
  • "Flores is a huge deal to the president," a senior official said. "This is the underpinning of the whole fight. This just seems to me this is a very important rollout and they ... undersold it at the Reagan Center.
  • "[McAleenan] could have been on all the TVs if he wanted to. But not everybody's taking live coverage from the Reagan Center at the last minute. At some point something has got to go right at DHS with their messaging and rollouts."

Trump was also dissatisfied with the coverage of the July ICE raids. Stories from Breitbart and the New York Times that stated that only 35 of the roughly 2,000 migrants ICE targeted were detained angered the president, a source with direct knowledge said. Not long after the raids, Carol Danko, the spokesperson for ICE, was pushed out, White House officials tell us. Danko says she resigned.

  • A senior White House official added in a text: “Decision to fire Carol Danko was made by ICE, not WH, although we support whatever they feel is necessary to manage their team. There was disagreement between WH and DHS Comms on how to execute the Flores rollout, but COS ultimately signed off on the plan as executed.”
  • However, a source familiar says the decision to remove Danko was made by senior DHS officials, not ICE officials.

The big picture: McAleenan's position at DHS has been fraught for weeks, and it's an open secret within the White House and DHS that Trump prefers acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli and acting Customs and Border Protection director Mark Morgan, who have fiercely defended his immigration policies on TV.

  • CNN reported earlier this month that McAleenan was prepared to resign in June and that he had felt "undermined" by subordinate immigration hardliners.
  • McAleenan, who Trump has called "an Obama guy," was a career official before becoming a political appointee under Trump.
  • "Going from [former DHS Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen to McAleenan makes no sense," a senior administration official said. "McAleenan doesn’t agree with the president on immigration, and that’s no secret. It’s unclear why he's even still there."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details about Danko's removal, and to reflect that McAleenan's position at DHS, not ICE, has been fraught for weeks.

Go deeper

Cyber war scales up with new Microsoft hack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week's revelation of a new cyberattack on thousands of small businesses and organizations, on top of last year's SolarWinds hack, shows we've entered a new era of mass-scale cyber war.

Why it matters: In a world that's dependent on interlocking digital systems, there's no escaping today's cyber conflicts. We're all potential victims even if we're not participants.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
20 mins ago - Science

Spaceflight contests and our future in orbit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wealthy private citizens are increasingly becoming the arbiters of who can go to space — and some of them want to bring the average person along for the ride.

Why it matters: Space is being opened up to people who wouldn't have had the prospect of flying there even five years ago, but these types of missions have far-reaching implications for who determines who gets to make use of space and for what.

1 hour ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.