Statutes and regulations seem to legally prohibit President Trump from naming Ken Cuccinelli as acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. That didn’t stop the President from retweeting a post that says he should be nominating Cuccinelli to the role. This popped up on his page after he retweeted it Tuesday afternoon:
Immigration Hardliners Fight For Cuccinelli To Be Next DHS Secretary : NPR https://t.co/csVNSlfro9
— Franco Ordoñez (@FrancoOrdonez) October 21, 2019
In reality, the President of the United States is given broad powers to select whoever the heck he wants to be in his administration. The Senate may be a challenge as they’re generally greater sticklers for the rules, but if the President exerts his influence over the Republican-led chamber of Congress, he should be able to win them over. Then, there are the legal challenges that will be put forth. That’s a battle the President wants fought on his behalf because politically, it can be spun as him fighting the swamp.
President Donald Trump has been notified by his staff that he can’t select two popular figures — Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan — to serve as an acting secretary of homeland security because a federal law governing agency succession makes them ineligible.
Instead, Sean Doocey, the White House director of presidential personnel, in recent days gave Trump a list of other officials to consider as acting secretary, including top DHS official Chad Wolf and Transportation Security Administration chief David Pekoske, according to three people familiar with the conversation.
The news has infuriated immigration hawks inside and outside the administration who had been lobbying for Cuccinelli to fill the role and now fear Trump will tap Wolf, a former chief of staff to ousted DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who once worked as a lobbyist on employment visas.
Cuccinelli is an immigration hardliner who has been aligned with President Trump’s border policies from the beginning. He hasn’t always been a fan of the President’s, famously backing Senator Ted Cruz for the GOP nomination at the Republican National Convention. But since joining the White House earlier this year, he has established himself as someone with ideas the President supports and has gained direct access to the Oval Office.
He is the right person for the job. One of the biggest issues the President has had with maintaining his border and immigration agenda has been DHS Chiefs who are not aligned with his goals and methods. He needs someone who shares his ideology and is willing to do what it takes to secure our borders, deport criminal illegal immigrants, and cut loopholes that allow people to enter and stay in this country illegally. Most importantly, he needs someone who can help drive the narrative that we need to build the wall.
It would behoove President Trump to fight to get Ken Cuccinelli in as a nominated and Senate-confirmed DHS Secretary. The only thing that truly stands in his way is the bureaucratic swamp. It’s a battle the two can and should win for America’s sake.
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