Customs and Border Protection chief to step down

Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner John Sanders will step down next week as the federal government’s primary border enforcement official.

Sanders is slated to leave the agency on July 5, a CBP official told The Hill on Tuesday.

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A federal official told The New York Times earlier Tuesday that it was not clear whether Sanders's resignation is connected to criticism of the agency's handling of the influx of migrants at the southern border.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE said he did not know Sanders personally when asked if he had called for the resignation.

"I didn’t speak to him. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to him, actually," Trump told reporters. "No, we have some very good people running it. And, you know, I don’t know anything about it. I hear he’s a very good man, I hear he’s a good person. I don’t know him. I don’t think I ever spoke to him.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

CNN obtained a copy of Sanders's message sent to employees confirming his departure.

"Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career," Sanders wrote, according to the outlet.

Sanders has led the agency since Trump named Kevin McAleenan, who previously held the role, to replace 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 as Homeland Security secretary.

Updated at 2:53 p.m.