GOP Kansas senator warns Senate would not confirm Kobach as DHS secretary

Amid speculation that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) may be under consideration to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kansas Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick Roberts Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Republicans writing off hard-line DHS candidate The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seeks tougher rules on asylum seekers MORE (R) is warning Kobach would not survive a confirmation vote.

“Don’t go there, we can’t confirm him,” Roberts told the Kansas City Star when asked about Kobach’s prospects for the nomination. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I never said that to you," Roberts reportedly added, despite another reporter being present and the Star not having agreed to an off-the-record conservation.

Kobach is also considering running for Roberts’s seat when the senator retires in 2020, according to the Star. 

"I have supported Kris Kobach in the past and I have supported every one of Trump's nominees, but ultimately this will be the president's decision," Roberts said in a statement following the story's publication.

Kobach is both a longtime Trump ally and an archconservative on immigration issues, reportedly the kind of figure President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE and top aide Stephen Miller are seeking to install to replace Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOvernight Energy: Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to sow division over coal jobs | NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal' | EPA official says agency may ban asbestos | Energy Dept. denies Perry planning exit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report Energy Dept denies report that Rick Perry is planning to leave Trump admin MORE, whose departure was announced over the weekend.

On Monday, Kobach told Fox News's Tucker Carlson the department has deliberately stymied Trump’s immigration agenda and that, were he in charge, he would end the release of asylum seekers and freeze migrants’ remittance payments to their home countries.

“I have been in the room when the president has given express orders to leadership at DHS and been assured that yes, those orders will be carried out, and a year later nothing has happened,” Kobach said.

Kobach’s name has also reportedly been in the mix, along with former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, for an “immigration czar” position that would coordinate policy across agencies. He previously served as vice chairman of Trump’s election integrity commission, which was disbanded after it failed to produce evidence to substantiate the president’s claim that millions of people cast illegal votes in the 2016 presidential election.

--Updated 1:45 p.m.