Romney: Vacancies at Homeland Security are 'dangerous' and 'seriously troubling'

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyProgressive Democrats ramp up attacks on private equity Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field MORE (R-Utah) on Tuesday called vacancies at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "dangerous" and "seriously troubling."

Romney made the comments during a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee two days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE announced the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenWhite House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary MORE

"It is dangerous, given what’s happening at the border, dangerous given the broad responsibility that the Department of Homeland Security has for protecting our nation," Romney said. "It is seriously troubling." 

In the past four days, Trump has withdrawn his pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced Nielsen's resignation and ousted the head of the Secret Service.

ADVERTISEMENT

Romney's condemnation of the vacancies follows a day after Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens Former Bush aide defends Vindman, criticizes GOP congressmen for 'defaming' him Bipartisan senators urge national security adviser to appoint 5G coordinator MORE (R-Wis.) said he was concerned about a "growing leadership void" at DHS amid talks of a shake-up of top staffers.

"I am concerned with a growing leadership void within the department tasked with addressing some of the most significant problems facing the nation," Johnson said in a statement. 

White House adviser Stephen Miller is reportedly pushing for the removal of others at DHS, including Lee Cissna, the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the department's general counsel John Mitnick, CNN reported Monday

Trump tweeted Sunday that Nielsen would be leaving her position and that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would temporarily replace her until someone is chosen to permanently fill the role.