Chad Wolf. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he will nominate acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to be the permanent head of the agency.

Why it matters: It's been more than 500 days since a Senate-confirmed secretary led the Department of Homeland Security — a record for any administration.

  • Wolf himself has served in an acting role since November 2019, taking over from acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned in April 2019, was the last Senate-confirmed DHS secretary.
  • Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office found that Wolf and his acting deputy Ken Cuccinelli are ineligible to serve in their positions because the administration did not follow federal law governing how certain leadership vacancies can be filled.

The big picture: Wolf has led the department through a tumultuous period, including riots in Portland that prompted the administration to deploy DHS agents to protect the city's federal courthouse.

  • Democrats have accused the Trump administration of orchestrating federal crackdowns in Portland and other Democrat-led cities, through DHS and the Justice Department, as part of an effort to burnish President Trump's "law and order" image ahead of his re-election campaign.
  • In response to Wolf's nomination, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters in a call on Tuesday, "I think given his past action, he is an awful choice."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Stef Kight: Although some hardliners were skeptical of Wolf’s commitment to Trump’s immigration agenda when he was chosen to lead the agency as acting secretary late last year, he has consistently been supportive of Trump— no more clearly than in his repeated defense of sending federal agents into Portland.

Flashback: Sen. Kamala Harris, now Joe Biden's running mate, grilled Wolf on the agency's deployment of federal agents in Portland during a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing earlier this month.

HARRIS: "Have you discussed deployments with any of the president’s campaign staff?"
WOLF: "No."
HARRIS: "Has party affiliations come up in conversations with anyone about the deployments?"
WOLF: "Not in my conversations. … I'm not going to comment on any specific conversations with the president."

Go deeper: Watch "Axios on HBO's" interview with Wolf earlier this month

Go deeper

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Pence's former lead staffer on the White House coronavirus task force announced that she plans to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, while accusing President Trump of costing lives with his pandemic response.

Why it matters: Olivia Troye, who described herself as a life-long Republican, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.