- President Donald Trump withdrew his nomination for Chad Wolf, the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, to become permanent head of the agency, the White House announced Thursday.
- The announcement came an hour after Wolf called on Trump to denounce the violence that occured at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
- “I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,” Wolf said in a statement.
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President Donald Trump has withdrawn his nomination for Chad Wolf, the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, to become the permanent head of the agency, the White House announced Thursday.
The announcement came around an hour after Wolf called on the president to denounce the violence that broke out at the US Capitol on Wednesday, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the building and forced Congress to evacuate while lawmakers were certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 win.
“What transpired yesterday was a tragic and sickening,” Wolf said in a statement. “While I have consistently condemned political violence on both sides of the aisle, specifically violence directed at law enforcement, we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends. This is unacceptable.”
“These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,” he added.
“The withdrawal occurred yesterday and was not related at all to Wednesday’s events or the Acting Secretary’s comments this morning,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere told CBS News. “Acting Secretary Wolf remains the acting secretary and continues to perform the duties of his office.”
Wolf has served as acting secretary since November 2019 and oversaw the response of federal agents to the Black Lives Matter protests last year. During the protests, some of which turned into riots, Wolf said he had the authority to deploy federal agents to American cities “whether they like us there or not.”
“Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans,” Wolf said on Thursday. “Every Americans is guaranteed the right to peacefully protest, but once those protests become violent, we should enforce our laws and bring those responsible to justice — regardless of political motivations. After a challenging and saddening 2020, it’s time for every American to respect each other and the rule of law in 2021.”
Wolf noted that he intends to remain in his current post until the end of Trump’s tenure in 13 days.
Wolf’s position came under scrutiny over the summer after a government watchdog report indicated that he was appointed invalidly and ineligible to serve in his role under a 1998 law. The DHS and White House dismissed the report.
This article has been updated with additional reporting on the White House’s comments.