Trump Abruptly Dumps His Nominee for New Head of ICE

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In a letter to the Senate on Thursday, President Donald Trump rescinded his nomination of Ronald Vitiello, who he had tapped to be the next director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The maddeningly vague two-font letter provided no reason for Trump’s reversal.

Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Trump seemed to suggest Vitiello wasn’t tough enough to be head of the agency.


Vitiello was previously scheduled to join the president today on his visit to the California-Mexico border but will now sit the trip out, per sources that spoke with the Associated Press.


Vitiello—who has been working in law enforcement since he joined the U.S. Border Patrol in 1985—will continue in his role as acting ICE director until the Trump administration proposes a replacement, according to the wire service. Vitiello has been in the role since June 2018, when he replaced Thomas Homan. His nomination wasn’t well received by a collective of ICE agent unions, in part because of a now-deleted tweet in which Vitiello compared Trump to Dennis the Menace.

To state the obvious: This is weird! Vitiello is a Border Patrol lifer and yet another bald white guy; minus one mild dig on Twitter, he is clearly Trump’s ideal candidate to run one of this country’s most nefarious departments. If you have any information regarding Vitiello’s nomination getting yanked, you can always email Splinter or contact GMG reporters directly through SecureDrop.