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US Homeland Security chief, veteran diplomat announce their resignations

Then-CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. (CBP/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

President Donald Trump has announced that acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is stepping down, some six months after he assumed the role following the previous chief’s departure.

McAleenan’s exit, announced on October 11, comes hours after the State Department said that Michael McKinley, a top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was leaving his post after a 37-year career as a diplomat.

The moves highlight the high level of turnover of top officials during Trump’s presidency, which began in January 2017.

Trump said on Twitter late on October 11 that McAleenan wants to “spend more time with his family and go to the private sector.”

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Trump added that he has “Many wonderful candidates” to fill the Homeland post.

McAleenan was named to the Homeland Security post in April following the departure of Kirstjen Nielsen.

“I have confidence that Kevin [McAleenan] will do a great job!” Trump tweeted at the time.

Meanwhile, the 65-year-old McKinley, who has served in four ambassador posts — in Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, and most recently Brazil — said his decision to depart was “personal” and did not mention the Ukraine situation that is now at the center of an impeachment probe against Trump