Trump to reportedly nominate a top John Kelly aide as Homeland Security Secretary

President Donald Trump reportedly plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a longtime aide to chief of staff John Kelly, to head the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump’s announcement could come as early as Wednesday, Politico reported, citing two administration officials and three outside advisers familiar with the matter.

The Homeland Security Department’s top job has been vacant since July, when Kelly was given the chief of staff role after the ousting of his predecessor, Reince Priebus. Acting secretary Elaine Duke has been leading DHS in the meantime.

Nielsen, 45, is known for her national security and cybersecurity expertise, and previously served in the Transportation Security Administration and on the White House Homeland Security Council under the George W. Bush administration.

“She would be the first person to run the department who has actually worked there,” one person close to the Trump administration told Politico. “She has a deep familiarity.”

Nielsen is also known for being a brusque enforcer of Kelly’s agenda in the West Wing, where her reportedly curt, no-nonsense manner caused some backlash among Trump aides.

According to Politico, multiple Trump loyalists even privately referred to Nielsen as “Nurse Ratched,” the fictional character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” known for her austere and corrupt influence over the mental institution she managed.

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