The White House tried to talk acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan out of resigning, but he bailed on them anyway.
The announcement has been planned for weeks, sources close to McAleenan say, and has nothing to do with the Ukraine scandal in which Trump and several other Cabinet officials are currently enmeshed.
A source close to the process told CNN that White House officials tried to talk McAleenan out of resigning.
Sources close to McAleenan insist the decision has more to do with his feeling of having done all that he can do on the job as well as feeling the frustrations of someone who perceives his job to be non-partisan and does it from the perspective of a law enforcement officer.
There are a lot of different ways that McAleenan’s feeling of having done all he can do on the job can be interpreted. Trump will spin this as a “mission accomplished” departure but the reality is murkier. The Trump administration’s immigration policy is going nowhere. The wall isn’t being built, and the White House is suffering defeats in court. Trump has been consumed with impeachment. An administration that has no policy direction before has even less now.
The blunt truth is that McAleenan bailed, and the supposed great negotiator couldn’t talk him into staying.