Just a short while ago, President Trump ordered the dismissal of Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles.
Few details are available, though I suspect that defect will be cured in the next hours.
“Secret Service officials have been caught by surprise with the news and are only finding out through CNN, according to the source.” https://t.co/mOqHOhBPnU
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) April 8, 2019
But, as my stock in trade is speculation, here’s what I would put forward.
Two weekends ago, a Chinese woman breached security at Mar-A-Lago.
Yujing Zhang, the woman who allegedly breached security at President Donald Trump’s private Florida club while carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware late last month, had a signal detector, other electronic devices and thousands of dollars in cash in her hotel room, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Zhang is appearing at a detention hearing in a Florida federal court, and prosecutors are outlining their case as to why Zhang is a flight risk after allgedly attempting to enter Mar-a-Lago.
“She lies to everyone she encounters,” and has no ties to the US, prosecutor Rolando Garcia said.
“Her ties are all in China,” he later added.
Prosecutors say they found multiple electronic devices in her hotel room, including a signal detector that can seek out detect hidden cameras, another cell phone, nine USB drives and five SIM cards. There were also several credit cards in her name.
Zhang arrived in Newark on a flight from Shanghai on March 28, Garcia said. The incident occurred on March 30.
Zhang was discovered to have a thumb drive with malware, as well as a laptop, an external hard drive and four cell phones. She was charged with two counts — making false statements to federal authorities and a misdemeanor offense of entering a restricted area without authorization.
I’m not sure what any of this means. The woman didn’t get near Trump but it became a point of attack on Trump’s use of Mar-A-Lago and his decision to let it continue accepting guests even when he is there. Emoluments clause, don’t you know.
The Secret Service felt compelled to put out a statement basically saying “hey, not our fault.”
In the statement, released Tuesday, the Secret Service said it was the resort’s management that decides who gets access to the property.
It said that in this instance, the woman was physically screened twice after she entered the property, which is the typical procedure.
After she was screened at the second checkpoint, she was arrested after the resort’s reception said she should not have been granted access. There is no indication that Zhang got close to the president.
The statement said: “The Secret Service does not determine who is invited or welcome at Mar-a-Lago; this is the responsibility of the host entity. The Mar-a-Lago club management determines which members and guests are granted access to the property. This access does not afford an individual proximity to the President or other Secret Service protectees.
It added, “While the Secret Service does not determine who is permitted to enter the club, our agents and officers conduct physical screenings to ensure no prohibited items are allowed onto the property.”
I don’t know who thought this was a good idea but they should be sterilized in order to check the breed.
The second part of the equation is that Alles is an ally of Kirstjen Nielsen and John Kelly.
Source familiar says Secret Service Director Randolph Alles is expected to leave his position as part of bigger shake up at DHS. Both Alles and Nielsen were allies of former COS John Kelly
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) April 8, 2019
This comes after Trump pulled Nielsen ally Ron Vitiello from consideration to be ICE director. Instead of allowing the deputy DHS secretary to step in as Acting Secretary, Trump went with someone of his choosing>
Claire Grady is the acting deputy secretary at DHS. She’s technically next in line. But Trump said CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan is replacing Nielsen in an acting capacity. Grady is not expected to resign, so look for her to be fired before Nielsen officially leaves Wednesday.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 8, 2019
ThinkProgress reports that more firings are coming:
Per the report, DHS General Counsel John Mitnick and U.S. Citizienship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna “are expected to be gone soon.” CNN added that the White House could remove additional officials at the department as well.
Trump orders firing of U.S. Secret Service chief- CNN – let me guess, Secret Service does it’s job at Mar-a-Lago and now ….a firing. Death of the Administrative state via constant leadership decapitation https://t.co/iLysfysUUC
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) April 8, 2019
If you look closely, you can see Stephen Miller in this clip.
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