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Trump to tap Kelly deputy and cybersecurity expert Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary

Trump to tap Kelly deputy and cybersecurity expert Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate his chief of staff's deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen, as his next secretary of Homeland Security.

Nielsen is now the White House principal deputy chief of staff.

Nielsen served as DHS chief of staff to former Secretary John Kelly until he was moved to the White House in July to be President Trump's chief of staff, and she followed him there as his principal deputy chief of staff.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pennsylvania, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, said in a statement on Wednesdday that Nielsen is "extremely well versed in the all-hazard threats challenging the security and resilience of our homeland-from cybersecurity and terrorism to natural disasters".

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Those details were disclosed in newly unsealed court papers that showed how sensitive prosecutors were to keeping Mr. El Bahnasawy's arrest secret to not tip off a suspect who was believed to be preparing to enter the United States.

Kirstjen Nielsen could be named as early as Wednesday, Politico reported, citing numerous sources.

Neither the White House nor Nielsen responded to requests for comment. She also ran the Transportation Security Administration's offices of legislative policy and government affairs, a section she started.

Duke was criticized in September when she described Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico - where a large majority of the population still lacks electricity - as a "good news story". President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to nominate Nielsen to succeed Kelly as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Increased border security and a possible overhaul of the immigration system remain top campaign promises Trump has yet to fulfill, including his trademark wall on the border with Mexico.

"She's a total homeland security expert - absolutely has no learning curve", said Michael Allen, who worked with Ms. Nielsen during the Bush administration. "I think her no-nonsense, business-like manner is what earned the confidence, first of General Kelly, and now the President".