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Tag: Homeland Security

Acting Homeland Security Chief Walks out of Speech over Disruptive Protesters

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Shouting and chanting protesters forced acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan off the stage before he could deliver a keynote address at Georgetown University’s Law Centeron Monday.

McAleenan was expected to give a 45-minute speech at the law school when he was immediately drowned out by chants of, “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” The USA Today reports.

A group of protesters also held a banner that read, “hate is not normal.”

The speech was part of an annual conference on immigration by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a nonpartisan think tank, Georgetown University Law School and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

After trying to start his speech several times, he eventually gave up and said, “OK, thank you” and left the stage.

Activists said they didn’t want to give McAleenan a platform to “spread hatred.”

“No Trump henchmen should be given a platform to spread hatred or defend the racist, xenophobic policies put into place by Donald Trump and Stephen Miller,” said Nicole Regalado, the campaign director of CREDO Action. “Institutions that elevate the architects and enforcers of Trump’s hate and normalize that cruelty can expect to hear from us.”

Homeland Security Official Who Scaled Back Counterterrorism Efforts Is Resigning

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Department of Homeland Security official and presidential appointee will leave his post after scaling back on some counterterrorism efforts involving weapons of mass destruction.

James F. McDonnell, who led the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, will step down at noon Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan requested McDonnell’s departure.

In his seven-sentence resignation memo, McDonnell did not give a reason for resigning.

McDonnell has faced criticism earlier this year for promoting a scientifically-disputed system for detection of airborne infectious agents such as anthrax.

McDonnell also directed “the scaling back or elimination of multiple anti-terrorism programs at Homeland Security, which has primary domestic responsibility for helping authorities detect and block WMD-related threats,” The Los Angeles Times wrote.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan Expresses Frustration with Trump Administration

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has spoken out about his department’s increasingly controversial policies that is turning the department into a partisan tool for the president.

In a candid interview with The Washington Post, McAleenan said the family separations at the border were “well intended” but “went too far.”

“When you see the impact in the six-week period on 2,500-or-so families and understand the emotional pain for those children, it’s not worth it,” McAleenan, who is six months into his role, told The Washington Post. “It’s the one part of this whole thing that I couldn’t ever be part of again.”

McAleenan said he’s losing control of the rhetoric coming from a department that is supposed to be a neutral law enforcement agency.

“What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time,” he said. “That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.”

Trump has yet to nominate McAleenan to the full-time DHS secretary position.

White House officials would not discuss why he hasn’t been nominated, nor would they respond to his frustrations.

“Secretary McAleenan is doing a fantastic job implementing the president’s plan to secure the southern border, build the wall, halt illegal immigration and stop the dangerous practice of catch-and-release,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said. “Thanks to the changes President Trump’s administration has put in place, now, if you try to violate our borders, you will be turned around and sent back to where you came from.”

Homeland Security: White Supremacy Is a Leading Domestic Terrorism Threat

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to combat white supremacy violence following the massacre in El Paso by a gunman motivated by his hatred of immigrants.

The department’s list of domestic terrorism threats now includes white supremacy, which has been on the rise since President Trump was elected.

The recent mass shootings “galvanized the Department of Homeland Security to expand its counterterrorism mission focus beyond terrorists operating aboard, to include those radicalized to violence within our borders by violent extremists of any ideology,” Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, said at a recent speech at the Brookings Institute.

“The continuing menace of racially based violent extremism, particularly white supremacist extremism, is an abhorrent affront to our nation, the struggle and unity of its diverse population, and the core values of both our society and our department,” McAleenan said during the speech.

DHS wrote up a 40-age document explaining its plan to collect data on white nationalist threats by working with local and state governments. The document also says DHS will combat propaganda on social media.

The El Paso massacre that killed 22 people at a Walmart “was an attack on all of us, on our family,” McAleenan told The Atlantic in an interview, noting that many Homeland Security employees are Hispanic.

A Top Homeland Security Official Was Using Thousands of Tax Dollars on Personal Meals

Andrew Meehan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security’s top spokesman, who plans to leave his post today, has been under investigation for spending large amount of tax dollars on personal dining expenses, the Washington Examiner has found.

Homeland Security acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Andrew Meehan announced last month that he was resigning, but his reasoning was never made public. Some senior administration officials suggested he was stepping down because of disagreements with the White House.

Turns out, Meehan federal authorities called for his termination after it was revealed he had spent thousands of dollars on meals. It’s not clear why he was allowed to stay in his position for nearly a month after announcing his resignation.

Homeland Security officials have declined to comment.

Top Homeland Security Lawyer Fired in Latest Shake-Up

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Shake-ups continue at the Department of Homeland Security with Tuesday’s departure of John Mitnick, the agency’s general counsel.

The White House fired Mitnick, who oversaw 2,500 lawyers at the agency, The New York Times reports.

“We thank John for this service, and we wish him well,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement.

The firing comes about four months after the White House ousted numerous top Homeland Security officials, including the secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen and the acting deputy secretary, Claire Grady. A month later, L. Francis Cissna, the head of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, left the agency a month later.

It’s not immediately clear who will replace Mitnick. Among the possibilities are Joseph B. Maher, the department’s principal deputy general counsel, and Chad Mizelle, an associate counsel to the president.

Top Homeland Security Aide, Spokesman Meehan Resigns Amid Tensions

Andrew Meehan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Andrew Meehan, a spokesman and top aide to Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan, is reportedly leaving the Trump administration over trust issues.

Meehan became acting assistant secretary of public affairs just four months ago to serve with former CBP boss, McAleenan, who promoted to acting secretary in April.

The White House had become frustrated with Meehan’s strategy in rolling out policy changes and his timing on announcements, Axios reports.

“Meehan, who was in Panama in advance of the secretary’s visit during the Flores rollout, made the decision to leave government a couple of weeks ago,” a senior DHS official told Axios.

Homeland Security and White House officials had not responded to questions about Meehan’s departure as of Thursday night.

House Democrats: Trump’s Administration Turns Blind Eye to White Nationalism

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Democrats are questioning why Trump’s administration “is failing to address white supremacist, extremist violence” as domestic terrorism is on the rise.

Consider this: All race-based domestic terrorism in 2018 was committed by alleged white supremacists. When the Department of Homeland Security wanted to increase its focus on domestic terrorism, the White House intervened and rejected the idea.

So alarmed by the surge in white supremacist violence, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress in July that “a majority of domestic terrorism cases are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”

So why does it appear Trump’s administration is not taking the threat seriously?

In a letter to the leadership of the FBI and Homeland Security, 65 House Democrats said white supremacy must be met with a “vigorous, systemic and coordinated response.”

“We are concerned that the Trump administration is jeopardizing our national security by failing to take domestic terrorism seriously,” the letter reads. “In particular, this administration is failing to address white supremacist extremist violence, the leading cause of domestic terrorism.”

The letter adds, “It is unacceptable that political interference from the White House should prevent domestic terrorism from receiving the elevated level of focus it deserves, especially following recent, high profile terrorist attacks.”