President Trump is expected to nominate White House aide Kirstjen Nielsen to be homeland security secretary, according to three White House officials familiar with the decision, a job left vacant when John F. Kelly left the department to become White House chief of staff in July.
The announcement could come as soon as Wednesday, although the sources cautioned nothing is set until Trump publicly announces her as the pick.
Nielsen, a cybersecurity expert who served as Kelly’s chief of staff when he was DHS secretary, accompanied him to the White House as his deputy and quickly emerged as a controversial presence.
Her detractors viewed her as brusque and, at times, unresponsive, as she worked with Kelly to streamline West Wing operations and instill discipline in a White House often void of it. But her allies and fans she said was simply helping to professionalize the West Wing — the sort of necessary but thankless task that often leaves some staff members griping.