- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2017

President Trump introduced his new Homeland Security secretary nominee Thursday, saying former Bush administration official and current deputy White House Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen is the right person to carry out his campaign promises.

“There will be no on-the-job training for Kirstjen,” Mr. Trump said, urging backing for his pick.

Ms. Nielsen has been a top aide to John F. Kelly, both when he was Homeland Security Secretary and then when he was tapped to be White House chief of staff.

“She was critical to his success,” Mr. Trump said.

Reaction on Capitol Hill has been muted, though Republicans signaled they’re willing to defer to the judgment of Mr. Kelly.

Mr. Trump said he wants to see quick action on Capitol Hill, where the Senate must act to confirm her. Democrats have slow-walked a number of Mr. Trump’s nominees, and Ms. Nielsen could face a difficult nomination process as she becomes the focal point for a debate over Mr. Trump’s immigration policies.

Ms. Nielsen served as a member of President George W. Bush’s homeland security council, overseeing preparedness. She also has a background with cybersecurity.

But little is known about Ms. Nielsen’s thoughts on immigration policy, where she will be called upon to oversee the president’s aggressive enforcement approach.

Homeland Security encompasses everything from the Coast Guard and Secret Service to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Transportation Security Administration to the three immigration agencies.

In brief remarks Thursday, Ms. Nielsen promised to remain engaged in disaster recovery from the hurricanes that have battered Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but offered little else for those looking to get a sense for her priorities.

She would be the first department secretary to have had previous experience in the department, though, having served as a policy adviser in the TSA under Mr. Bush, and again as chief of staff at the full department under Mr. Kelly.

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