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Collins Joins Critics Of Trump Administration's 'Politicization' Of Department Of Homeland Security

Toni Sandys
Pool via AP
Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to examine DHS personnel deployments to recent protests on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020.

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has joined with some other Republicans who are critical of changes the Trump administration has made to the mission and management of the Department of Homeland Security.Former Republican leaders of Homeland Security, such as Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, are among the critics in the wake of a report from the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security that concludes that the department is not focusing on its original mission of helping protect the country from terrorism, and has become politicized.

Collins says she agrees with the finding.

“I do not like or agree with the politicization of the Department of Homeland Security,” she says. "The department does need to re-focus on its original mission, which included counter-terrorism and protecting us from terrorist attacks, strengthening our border security.”

Collins is also critical of Trump for naming acting leaders at the agency who have never faced congressional confirmation hearings. Collins was instrumental in the creation of the agency as the chair of Senate Homeland Security Committee.

“There has been a revolving door of leadership at the department that has made it very difficult for Congress to exercise effective oversight," Collins says.

Last week, the Government Accountability Office concluded that the acting leaders of DHS were not appointed through a valid process.


Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.