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Politics

Trump taps retired general for homeland security post

The career serviceman has echoed Trump's sentiments on irregular migration, saying it poses an existential threat. He marks the third retired general to be tapped for top positions in the president-elect's cabinet.

Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly has been tapped as US President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, US media reported.

Kelly later confirmed the reports to American broadcaster "Fox News," saying he was honored by Trump's request to serve on his cabinet.

He is the third retired general to be named to cabinet-level positions in Trump's cabinet, alongside retired General James Mattis as defense secretary and retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

Kelly has served as the head of the US Southern Command and as commanding general of Multi-National Force-West in Iraq.

The 66-year-old veteran lost his youngest son to an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010.

Critical of irregular migration

Echoing Trump's sentiments on irregular immigration, Kelly has voiced concerns over country's border with Mexico, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee last year that human trafficking at the US-Mexico border posed an existential threat.

"Terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States," he said.

If confirmed by Congress, Kelly will oversee more than 240,000 employees, including Border Patrol agents, the Secret Service and the agency in charge of resettling refugees.

ls/bw (Reuters, AFP)

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