President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has quietly composed a short list of conservative activists to build out the presidential Cabinet over the past several months. Two Republican members of Congress are in consideration for Department of Homeland Security secretary, a very important position whose occupant would manage Trump’s current plan to crack-down on illegal immigration.
Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) are reportedly being considered as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Sessions is also being considered for other top administration jobs, such as defense secretary, and has also helped shape Trump’s strong views on immigration.
Other people being considered for Secretary of Homeland Security are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is vice president of Trump’s transition team, and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Both are former U.S. attorneys and have also reportedly shown interest in being attorney general.
Government officials also said they have been told that Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is known as “America’s Toughest Sherriff,” but was recently removed from office after losing his bid for a seventh term after Tuesday’s election, is being considered.
Arpaio is also known for forcing inmates to wear pink underwear and has a long list of misconduct accusations, including: misuse of funds, abuse of power, failure to investigate sex crimes, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, improper clearance of cases, and election law violations.
“America’s Toughest Sherriff” has also had complaints of racial profiling, which were investigated by a Federal court monitor. It was concluded by the U.S. Department of Justice that Arpaio was responsible for the worst case of racial profiling in U.S. history and filed a suit against him for unlawful discriminatory police conduct.
Currently, the 84-year-old faces legal trouble as he was recently charged with criminal contempt after refusing to comply with a judge’s order demanding that the long-time sheriff stop detaining people solely based on his suspicion of them being undocumented immigrants. If convicted, Arpaio could face up to six months in jail.
A former homeland security official, who remained anonymous to discuss the leading candidates, said:
‘Anyone closely associated with the two of them is likely to be suspect at best and persona non grata at worst.’
Another former homeland security official said:
‘If Trump is really embracing the seriousness of being President, I hope he would see the complexities of DHS and not try to compare that to running a sheriff’s office.’
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