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Secret Service head is out, White House says

Then-CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner "Tex" Alles testifies before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Using technology to increase situational awareness and operational control in Washington D.C. (James Tourtellotte/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
April 08, 2019

United States Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles will be leaving the Trump Administration.

“Mr. Alles will be leaving shortly and President Trump has selected James M. Murray, a career member of the USSS, to take over as director beginning in May,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, according to The Washington Post.

Several anonymous senior administration officials told CNN on Monday that the President ordered Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to terminate Alles, the latest in this week’s administration shakeup.

“There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” one official said.

Alles was appointed to his Secret Service post on April 25, 2017. He previously held leadership roles at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and served 35 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, which he retired from as a Major General in 2011, according to his Secret Service biography.

Officials did not say what prompted Alles’ termination, but the Secret Service was recently criticized for permitting entry of an unauthorized Chinese national at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last week.

Secret Service arrested Yujing Zhang for providing false information to law enforcement and entering prohibited areas, after she was found with four cell phones, one laptop, an external hard drive, two Chinese passports, and a thumb drive containing “malicious malware.”

However, an official told NBC News that the decision was made 10-14 days ago and “was not based on any single event.”

Alles’ firing is reportedly prompted by White House Adviser Stephen Miller who has been granted a greater influence in border policies, officials told CNN. Alles was a close ally of former White House Chief of Staff John Kelley.

Miller is said to have been a primary force in the removal of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — Alles’ boss — on Sunday.

President Trump tweeted Sunday evening saying, “Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service … I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Lee Cissna, and the department’s general counsel, John Mitnick may be the next in line for termination, the officials told CNN.