Politics

Trump Considering Retired General For Homeland Security

| by Ray Brown

President-elect Donald Trump continues to draw strong distinctions between himself and President Barack Obama as he is reportedly considering a former Marine General and a former George W. Bush adviser to head the Department of Homeland Security.

Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, who argued against allowing women in combat roles and Obama's since-discarded plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, is a top contender for the job, according to The Washington Post.

Kelly, whose son died fighting in Afghanistan, retired this year as chief of U.S. Southern Command after a 40-year military career.

The long-time military man caused a stir earlier this year when he said allowing women in combat roles would eventually force the military to lower qualifications standards.

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"They're saying we are not going to change any standards," Kelly said in January, according to The Associated Press. "There will be great pressure, whether it's 12 months from now [or] four years from now, because the question will be asked whether we've let women into these other roles, why aren't they staying in those other roles? Why aren't they advancing as infantry people?"

Frances Townsend, a top homeland security and counterterrorism official in the George W. Bush administration, is also being considered for the DHS role.

In March, Townsend signed an open letter to Trump from GOP national security officials who blasted Trump's foreign policy.

“We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria,” the letter stated, according to War On The Rocks. “But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency.”

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Townsend also criticized Trump's call for a ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. from terror-prone countries.

"Our greatest counter-terrorism allies are actually our Arab partners - the Saudis, the Emirates - who give us better on-the-ground intelligence about threats coming our way than any other service," Townsend told CBS in December 2015. "The other thing is our diplomats and military get put at risk because they represent the U.S. in these Arab countries."

Sources: The Washington Post, War On the Rocks, AP via U.S. News & World Report, CBS News / Photo credit: Ash Carter/Flickr

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