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Secret Service head Alles leaving, career official to replace him

Randolph "Tex" Alles is stepping down after two years overseeing the agency. James M. Murray will take over in May.

Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles on Oct.

Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles on Oct. 26, 2018. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

WASHINGTON — The White House announced on Monday that the head of the U.S. Secret Service is leaving his post, marking the second high profile Trump administration departure in the span of 24-hours.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Randolph "Tex" Alles is stepping down after two years overseeing the agency that is primarily tasked with ensuring the president’s safety and that of other top administration officials.

Alles’ departure came a day after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced her resignation, and comes amid reports that President Donald Trump is looking to shake up the department’s leadership. The Secret Service falls under the Department of Homeland Security and Alles previously reported to Nielsen.

Sanders said Alles “has done a great job at the agency over the last two years, and the President is thankful for his over 40 years of service to the country.”

Trump has tapped “James M. Murray, a career member of the [Secret Service], to take over as director beginning in May,” Sanders said.

Alles, a veteran Marine general, leaves the agency as the security protocols in place at the president’s Palm Beach, Florida, estate have come under scrutiny following the arrest last week of a Chinese national who entered Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club carrying multiple laptops and a flash drive containing malware.

Last week, when asked about the incident, Trump said he “could not be happier with [the] Secret Service,” adding that the “Secret Service has done a fantastic job from Day 1.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday called on Alles to “testify before Congress as soon as possible about the potential security vulnerabilities at Mar-a-Lago.”

“The public and Congress need to know the extent to which adversarial governments — like China — and their agents are attempting to gain access to, or conduct electronic surveillance on, conversations or other information regarding national security at President Trump’s properties,” Schumer said.

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