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

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Hogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump 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 TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE announced the departure of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenJudge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension Biden's hard stand on foreign election interference signals funding fight The 'Anonymous' saga ended with a dud — a perfect example of the problem of Trump-era media 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In the past four days, Trump has withdrawn his pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced Nielsen's resignation and ousted the head of the Secret Service.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 JohnsonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 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.