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

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney Eugene Goodman to throw out first pitch at Nationals game White House briefed on bipartisan infrastructure deal but says questions remain On The Money: Consumer prices jumped 5 percent annually in May | GOP senators say bipartisan group has infrastructure deal 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 TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE announced the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenLeft-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing 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In the past four days, Trump has withdrawn his pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced Nielsen's resignation and ousted the head of the Secret Service.


Romney's condemnation of the vacancies follows a day after Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: House targets tech giants with antitrust bills | Oversight chair presses JBS over payment to hackers | Trump spokesman to join tech company | YouTube suspends GOP senator YouTube suspends Ron Johnson for 7 days GOP senators introduce bill to make Iran deal subject to Senate approval 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.