A secret service agent keeps a watch in Vista, Calif. on May 22, 2016.
Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

As Trump’s purge continues, the Secret Service chief is out, too

Updated

It was two years ago this month when Donald Trump appointed Randolph “Tex” Alles to be the new director of the U.S. Secret Service – the first Secret Service chief in a century to lead the department without ever having been part of it.

Now, as the president shakes up his domestic-security team, Alles is out, too.

Randolph Alles, the director of the U.S. Secret Service, is leaving his position, NBC News confirmed on Monday.

Alles, a retired Marine Corps major general who was appointed two years ago, reports to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned under pressure on Sunday night and is leaving the post on Wednesday.

According to CNN’s report, Trump – who loves to fire people, so long as he’s not the one doing the firing – “instructed” acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to fire Alles.

Like Kirstjen Nielsen, Alles was reportedly elevated to this post at the encouragement of John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff. With Kelly out, the Secret Service chief apparently lacked the allies he needed to remain at his post.

But it’s the larger context that’s probably the most jarring. In the coming days, we’ll see a Department of Homeland Security without a Senate-confirmed secretary. According to the DHS leadership page, there will also be no Senate-confirmed deputy secretary, no Senate-confirmed Secret Service director, no Senate-confirmed FEMA chief, no Senate-confirmed head of ICE, and no Senate-confirmed DHS inspector general.

Once Kevin McAleenan, the current Customs and Border Protection commissioner, starts filling in for Nielsen as the acting DHS chief, his office won’t have a Senate-confirmed commissioner, either.

All of this, of course, comes against a backdrop in which Donald Trump insists there’s a national emergency and ongoing security crisis at the nation’s southern border.

Postscript: It’s too soon to say with confidence how rank-and-file Secret Service agents and other officials will respond to the president ousting their current chief, but it’s worth noting for context that the relationship between Team Trump and the Secret Service hasn’t always been smooth.

Update: According to a White House statement this afternoon, Trump has selected James Murray, a career Secret Service member, to take over as director beginning next month.