US President Donald Trump has removed Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles as part of a “near-systematic purge” which earlier forced Homeland Security secretary to resign.
The White House announced the imminent removal of Alles on Monday, the latest in a series of head-spinning departures from the Department of Homeland Security.
Trump has reportedly instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to fire Alles. Alles remains in his position as of now but has been asked to leave.
The removal comes just one day after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to step aside following a White House meeting with Trump.
“There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” an official told CNN.
Senior DHS officials remained in a fog about the fate of their agency’s leaders, expecting more firings as part of the widening purge, one DHS official said, noting that the White House had given no cause for Alles’s removal.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are expected to be gone soon, and the White House is eyeing others to be removed.
Just five days ago, Trump had said he “could not be happier with Secret Service” following the Mar-a-Lago incident.
“Secret Service has done a fantastic job from Day 1. Very happy with them,” Trump said during a White House event when asked by reporters about the Mar-a-Lago trespasser.
The director of Secret Service directly reports to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and oversees the Secret Service’s work on both protection and investigations.
The departures come at a time the administration claims there is a “crisis” at the US southern border to influx of migrants from central and South America.
The development also comes in the wake of Trump’s failure to build his promised wall on the border.