Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf speaks during a press conference about action by Portland Customs, Border Protection and Homeland Security officials during the ongoing protests at U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters July 21, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has withdrawn his appointment of Chad Wolf as head of the Department of Homeland Security, the White House said on Thursday.
The change of president comes less than three hours after Wolf, the acting DHS secretary, urged Trump to “strongly condemn” the violence that broke out in the US Capitol on Wednesday and describe the events as “tragic and disgusting” to call.
“That is unacceptable. These violent actions are incomprehensible, and I beg the President and all elected officials to sharply condemn the violence that took place yesterday,” wrote acting Secretary Wolf.
“Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official is contrary to who we are as Americans. Every American is guaranteed the right to peaceful protest, but once those protests become violent we should enforce our laws and bring those responsible to justice – independently from the policy motivations, “he added.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Wolf wrote that those involved in the riots should be held accountable.
The White House denied that the withdrawal was related to Wolf’s response to the riots.
“The withdrawal came yesterday and had nothing whatsoever to do with the events on Wednesday or the comments from the acting secretary this morning,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “The acting secretary Wolf remains the acting secretary and continues to perform his duties.”
Trump, who started the uprising, has not condemned the actions of his supporters. Four people died in the chaos. The White House on Thursday expressed its condolences for the deaths and injuries.
Trump’s term ends on January 20 at 12 noon.
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. In his statement Thursday, Wolf said he would stay in the department until the end of the term.
“I will remain in my position until the end of the administration to ensure the ministry continues to focus on the serious threats to our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team,” he said.
A Justice Department official told CNBC’s Eamon Javers that “a series of criminal charges” will be released on Thursday.