Trump says Chad Wolf to be next acting DHS secretary

In this Oct. 29, 2019 photo, Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chad Wolf speaks during a meeting of the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the White House complex in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump on Friday said Chad Wolf, a longtime Homeland Security official, would be the new acting head of the department, the fifth person in the job for this administration.

But Trump's casual announcement, made in response to a reporter's question outside the White House, temporarily created more uncertainty about the leadership of the sprawling department.

There have been weeks of speculation over whom would be named the next leader, and Kevin McAleenan, the current acting secretary, has agreed to stay on temporarily. The department initially wouldn't confirm Wolf was next in line, saying only that McAleenan was acting secretary.

When a reporter asked Trump directly whether Wolf was to be the next DHS secretary, the president responded, "He's acting, and we'll see what happens."

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley later clarified.

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