U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles is out of his job, NBC News reported Monday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement 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.”
Alles “will be leaving shortly,” Sanders said, adding that President Donald Trump “has selected James M. Murray, a career member of the USSS, to take over as director beginning in May.”
The firing, first reported Monday afternoon by CNN, leaves the Department of Homeland Security without a Senate-confirmed official in yet another top role.
CNN, citing multiple administration officials, reported that Trump had instructed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to fire Alles.
The Secret Service chief’s ouster comes less than a day after the announcement that Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, will also be leaving the administration.
Trump tweeted Sunday that Kevin McAleenan, the current commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, will serve as acting Homeland Security secretary.
Less than a week earlier, federal authorities charged Chinese national Yujing Zhang with illegally gaining entry to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, slipping past at least five Secret Service agents and making it all the way to the main reception area of the compound.
Trump had praised the Secret Service in the wake of the incident. Asked about his confidence in the luxury club’s security, Trump said, “I could not be happier with Secret Service. Secret Service has done a fantastic job from day one. Very happy with them.”
NBC’s Pete Williams reported Monday that, according to an administration official, Alles’ firing was “not based on any single precipitating event.” The decision was made 10 to 14 days ago, the official told NBC – before the Mar-a-Lago intrusion.
As of Alles’ firing, the DHS is operating without Senate-confirmed officials for Secret Service director, agency secretary, deputy secretary, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, Immigration and Customs Enforcement director and inspector general, NBC noted.
Nielsen tweeted that she will remain in her role until Wednesday to allow for a smooth transition. At that time, DHS won’t have a Senate-confirmed commissioner, either.
A White House spokesman did not immediately reply to CNBC’s questions about Alles. The Secret Service did not immediately provide comment.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.