Adding to the list of government leadership shake-ups in recent days, the White House confirmed reports Monday that U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles is leaving his position.
Secret Service member James Murray will replace him, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles has done a great job at the agency of the last two years, and the President is thankful for his over 40 years of service to the country,” she said in a statement.
Earlier, sources told CNN that President Donald Trump was removing Alles from his role. NBC News and The Associated Press also reported Monday that Alles was expected to leave the Department of Homeland Security position soon.
According to multiple administration officials who spoke to CNN, Trump instructed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to fire Alles, who was informed two weeks ago that he’d be losing his job but that he should stay on until there is a replacement.
“There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” one senior administration official told CNN.
However, in an email from Alles to his staff later obtained by CNN’s Jim Acosta, Alles said he was not fired but that the administration had rolled out “transitions in leadership ... across the Department of Homeland Security.”
Alles, who previously served as the acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection until Trump tapped him for the Secret Service role in 2017, reported to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned on Sunday amid Trump’s growing frustration with her handling of immigration policy.
News of Alles’ reported ouster comes days after the White House reportedly withdrew its nomination of longtime border official Ron Vitiello to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Upon hearing the news of Alles’ departure, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement calling for him to testify before Congress “about the potential security vulnerabilities at Mar-a-Lago involving a Chinese national arrested with malware, and other counterintelligence and national security threats.”
Sources who spoke with CNN said Alles’ leaving was not related to criticism the Secret Service faced over that incident, in which a Chinese woman illegally entered the president’s Mar-a-Lago club carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware.
This story has been updated with information from Alles’ email and Schumer’s statement.