The White House has imminent plans to name Homeland Security official Chad Wolf acting secretary, according to three people familiar with the situation. Wolf will replace acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, whose last day in the job was Thursday. No successor was named as darkness fell on Washington.
President Donald Trump called Wolf a few days ago and told him to expect to be appointed, a person familiar with the plan told POLITICO. Two other officials said that the White House has been speaking to reluctant GOP senators — including Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — and asking them not to oppose Wolf’s appointment to be undersecretary of the department.
The search has been complicated by a federal law that requires acting agency chiefs to have served under a Senate-confirmed secretary for 90 days. Grassley said this week there is no legal way to name someone acting DHS secretary if that person hasn’t been confirmed in any capacity by the Senate. Wolf has not been confirmed in his present position as undersecretary for policy.