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Monday, 8 March 2021

Acting U.S. homeland security chief resigns

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Acting U.S. homeland security chief resigns
Acting U.S. homeland security chief resigns

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told his staff on Monday he was stepping down, a senior administration official told Reuters.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, announced on Monday that he was stepping down, making him the latest senior Trump administration official to resign following last week's deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Wolf did not specifically cite the assault that led to five deaths as the reason for his resignation, but said in a statement: "Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary." President Donald Trump withdrew Wolf's nomination to be permanent Homeland Security secretary last week.

On Thursday, Wolf released a statement urging the president to condemn the violence at the Capitol.

A White House spokesman said the withdrawal occurred on Wednesday and "was not related at all to Wednesday’s events." Wolf's departure comes amid concern over security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Earlier on Monday, Washington D.C.

Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to Wolf, calling for a fresh approach to security after what she called last week's "unprecedented terrorist attack" and asked Wolf to extend the National Special Security Event period from Monday through Jan.

24.

Wolf said in a statement he had instructed the Secret Service to begin National Special Security Event operations for the inauguration effective Wednesday, Jan.

13, instead of Jan.

19 as previously scheduled.

Wolf served more than a year in an acting capacity as Homeland Security chief, taking over from former acting secretary Kevin McAleenan, who was preceded by Kirstjen Nielsen, who was preceded by John Kelly, who left the post to become Trump's chief of staff, another role that saw significant turnover.

The DHS press office said Wolf would leave his post at midnight on Monday and that FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor will take over as acting secretary.

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