WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he will nominate acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to formally lead the agency.
Trump announced the decision in a tweet, saying that "Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!"
Wolf has been acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since November 2019. The permanent position has been vacant since Kirstjen Nielsen resigned earlier that year.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently said the appointments of Wolf as acting DHS secretary and his acting deputy Ken Cuccinelli were made invalidly.
"Because the incorrect official assumed the title of Acting Secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid and officials who assumed their positions under such amendments, including Chad Wolf and Kenneth Cuccinelli, were named by reference to an invalid order of succession," said the report from Congress' investigative body.
In response, a DHS spokesperson said they "wholeheartedly disagree with the GAO's baseless report."
Under Wolf, the DHS has taken a series of moves to crack down on illegal immigration at the border. Recently, he has ramped up federal presence in some U.S. cities to protect federal properties amid demonstrations, despite opposition from state and local officials.
Established in 2002, the DHS is a federal agency designed to protect the United States against what they call threats, with wide-ranging duties including aviation security, border control, emergency response and cybersecurity.