acting out
April 10, 2019

President Trump likes "acting" Cabinet secretaries — and apparently "acting" everything else.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is out the door and a new, supposedly temporary leader is in her place — a procedure that's definitely not unusual in the Trump administration. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was also forced out last week, and while he's already been replaced, it still leaves 12 of DHS' 30 leadership positions with temporary placeholders, NBC News reports.

While Immigrations and Customs Enforcement doesn't appear on the graphic, that agency's director has also been serving in an acting capacity since last June. Ronald Vitiello was slated to undergo a confirmation process to become the full-time head of the agency, but Trump abruptly and quietly withdrew his nomination on Friday, saying he wanted to go "in a tougher direction." On Wednesday, Vitello announced his resignation from the acting position altogether, effective Friday.

At the start of this year, nearly half of Trump's Cabinet secretaries were temporary or waiting to be confirmed. Those spots are largely filled now, but in an opinion piece published Wednesday, The Washington Post's Max Boot argued that Trump likely prefers acting appointees because they "are more likely to be loyal to him personally rather than to the Congress or Constitution." Kathryn Krawczyk

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