Pence taps former DHS spokeswoman as his new press secretary

Pence taps former DHS spokeswoman as his new press secretary
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Vice President Pence has hired former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokeswoman Katie Waldman as his new press secretary.

A Pence spokesman confirmed Thursday that Waldman has been brought on to replace Alyssa Farah, who left the vice president’s office in August to become press secretary at the Pentagon.

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Waldman currently serves as communications director for Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood charges into 2020 | PhRMA CEO warns against Pelosi drug pricing bill | Medicaid work requirements costing states millions MORE (R-Ariz.). Before that, she focused on immigration during her time at DHS.

Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short told NBC News, which first reported the hire, that Waldman has “extensive experience and she’ll be a great fit in our office."

“She’s shown she has the mettle to handle intense environments,” Short said.

McSally praised Waldman in a statement to The Hill, calling the move to the vice president's office a "once in a lifetime opportunity."

Waldman worked at DHS during the tenure of former Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump says acting Homeland Security chief McAleenan will step down Activists to demonstrate at ICE headquarters after Cameroonian immigrant dies in custody Ex-Citizenship and Immigration Services chief returns to DHS in different role MORE. The agency faced intense criticism last year over its “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant families, something Nielsen defended from the White House podium.

Nielsen was ousted in April, and much of DHS’s press staff turned over a short time later.