The head of US Customs and Border Protection lamented the sudden resignation of incumbent Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, on Tuesday, saying it made it difficult to hand over government to President-elect Joe Biden.
“It is unfortunate that we are only losing the Secretary of DHS for one more week in the administration,” said Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan on the Fox Business Network. “It helps [the] Difficulty moving forward with the transition. It is an unfortunate circumstance. ”
Wolf announced Monday that he would resign less than a week after a deadly riot by President Donald Trump’s supporters flooded the U.S. Capitol.
In a letter to the department, Wolf said he intended to serve “until the end of this administration” but was unable to do so, in part due to ongoing judicial challenges to the legality of his appointment as acting secretary.
Morgan said Tuesday he was unaware of “specific details” regarding Wolf’s decision to leave the DHS.
“I have not spoken to the secretary in detail about his final decision, but it is unfortunate that we will lose the secretary in the last week,” Morgan told Fox Business.
Ken Cuccinelli, deputy secretary of the DHS, said Tuesday that he had no reason to doubt Wolf’s stated explanation for the resignation.
“I definitely accept his explanation for it,” Cuccinelli told Fox News. “He’s still in the department, but he’s not in the role of assistant secretary.”
In his statement, Wolf also referred to “recent events” that played a role in his exit. In his email to the department staff, he made no explicit mention of the Capitol riot, although an administrator told POLITICO that it was a factor.
Wolf was the third cabinet secretary to leave the Trump administration in recent days in response to the attack on the seat of government. Wolf also didn’t go long after the White House withdrew his nomination as Senate-approved secretary for the second time.
Wolf has headed DHS as an actor since November 2019, and said in his note that Pete Gaynor, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will serve as acting secretary.
Cuccinelli said he expected Gaynor to hold that post until the end of Trump’s term next week.
Trump is expected to travel to Alamo, Texas on Tuesday – his first public appearance since Wednesday’s deadly riot. Morgan said he hadn’t spoken directly to the president about the trip but expected it to focus on his administration’s immigration and border security data.
Morgan urged Biden not to overturn Trump’s policies, such as building a wall along the southern border.
“You stop building this, it will absolutely be part of a dangerous policy out there and it will make our country less safe,” he said.