Trump says he hasn't 'really thought about' Kobach for DHS chief

President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE on Wednesday said he hasn't given much thought to nominating former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as the next head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

"I have respect for him, but I haven't really thought about that," Trump told reporters during a roundtable in Texas.


"I’m very happy right now with Kevin [McAleenan]," Trump added, referring to his pick for acting DHS secretary.

Wednesday marked the final day on the job for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities MORE, who resigned over the weekend.

Her departure is part of a broader shakeup in leadership at the agency, which oversees immigration enforcement, cybersecurity, emergency management and other areas. Trump recently rescinded his nominee to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying he wants to go in a "tougher direction."

Kobach has openly expressed interest in the top DHS post since Nielsen's resignation was announced, appearing multiple times in recent days on Fox News and Fox Business Network.

"That’s the president’s call, obviously," Kobach said Tuesday night when asked if he wants the job. "It would be an honor to serve him. I served on his transition team and have advised him informally since then. If the president decides that that’s the way he wants to go, of course I’d be honored to help him."

Kobach, who lost the Kansas gubernatorial race last year to Democrat Laura Kelly, is an immigration hard-liner and vocal supporter of the president's agenda. He would likely face a difficult road to confirmation in the Senate if nominated.

Kobach previously served as head of Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity. The commission was established to investigate the president’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election but was disbanded in January 2018.