President Donald Trump is pulling the nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead ICE, saying he wants to go in a “tougher direction.”
“We’re going in a little different direction. Ron’s a good man but we’re going in a tougher direction. We want to go in a tougher direction,” Trump told reporters Friday at the White House.
The White House on Thursday evening informed the Senate it was withdrawing its nomination of Vitiello to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a letter obtained by CNN.
This comes after a tough confirmation process in which Vitiello’s past controversial social media posts came to light and the agency’s union strongly opposed the nomination.
Trump nominated Vitiello, who’s been leading ICE in an acting capacity since late June, to head the agency in August. He previously served as chief of the US Border Patrol and acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
Earlier Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held over his nomination at the Democrats’ request.
But last month, ICE appeared a step closer to having a permanent director after the Senate Homeland Security Committee voted to move the nomination to a floor vote.
That vote came after two previous delays on his nomination, which had thrown into question whether he would be confirmed for the position.
Trump did not name any other potential nominees.
This story is breaking and will be updated.