U.S. President Donald Trump is ousting the head of the Secret Service, the agency that protects him and his family and other former U.S. leaders.
Several U.S. news agencies reported Monday that Trump directed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to fire Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles, a Trump appointee who had held the position for two years. There was no immediate public explanation for the dismissal.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Alles “has done a great job at the agency over the last two years, and the president is thankful for his over 40 years of service to the country. Mr. Alles will be leaving shortly.”
She said Trump had selected James Murray, a career Secret Service veteran, as the agency’s new director, starting in May.
But Alles refuted the media accounts, saying he had known for weeks. In a statement released by the Secret Service, Alles said, ““No doubt you have seen media reports regarding my “firing.” I assure you that this is not the case, and in fact was told weeks ago by the Administration that transitions in leadership should be expected across the Department of Homeland Security.”
Alles reported directly to outgoing Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, who herself resigned under pressure Sunday after meeting with Trump. The U.S. leader had increasingly voiced his displeasure at the growing number of undocumented Central American migrants surging through Mexico to seek asylum in the United States and had frequently blamed Nielsen for the immigration crisis at the border.