- President Donald Trump became irritated with outgoing Secret Service Director Randolph Alles before giving him 10 days’ notice to plan his exit from the agency, The New York Times reported on Monday.
- According to The Times’ sources, evidence of a souring relationship between Trump and Alles was clear, with Trump even mocking the size of Alles’ ears.
- Alles is a retired Marine Corps general and a 35-year veteran of the armed services. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly informed him two weeks ago he was expected to resign.
- News of Alles’ departure comes amid reports of an imminent purge of top security officials.
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President Donald Trump became irritated with outgoing Secret Service Director Randolph Alles and at one point poked fun at his physical appearance by calling him “Dumbo,” according to a New York Times report on Monday.
Alles, a retired Marine Corps general and a 35-year veteran of the armed services, was reportedly informed by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney he was to vacate his position two weeks ago. Alles was selected in April 2017 to replace former Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, whose tenure was plagued by security scandals.
In an internal statement to the agency on Monday, Alles said he was not fired and that he was told “weeks ago” of “transitions in leadership.”
“The President has directed an orderly transition in leadership for this agency and I intend to abide by that direction,” Alles said in the statement. “It is my sincere regret that I was not able to address the workforce prior to this announcement.”
The White House’s notice was given before the arrest of Yujing Zhang, a 32-year-old Chinese woman who accessed Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private resort. Zhang was found with four mobile phones, nine USB drives, seven SIM cards, and $US8,000 in cash, according to The Times.
The Secret Service deflected blame for the apparent security lapse and issued a rare rebuke of Mar-a-Lago’s security.
“The Secret Service does not determine who is invited or welcome at Mar-a-Lago; this is the responsibility of the host entity,” it said in a statement last week. “The Mar-a-Lago club management determines which members and guests are granted access to the property.”
Secret Service officials suggested to The Times that Alles’ exit may have been influenced by the unflattering scandal at Mar-a-Lago. The incident highlighted security concerns at Trump’s weekend retreat, even though the president described it as an isolated “fluke” and continues to praise the Secret Service.
News of Alles’ departure comes amid reports of an imminent purge of top security officials. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on Sunday after she reportedly had intense disagreements with Trump and his adviser Stephen Miller over their immigration crackdown.
Francis Cissna, the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services; John Mitnick, a member of Homeland Security’s general counsel; and Claire Grady, Homeland Security’s undersecretary for management, are also reportedly on the chopping block.
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