This has Stephen Miller’s fingerprints all over it. Having failed to get his top choice to lead ICE, the White House immigration hawk now has an immigration “coordinator” whose title will belie his toughness and influence.
I’ve watched Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general who has unsuccessfully run for governor, for years. He’s dynamic and edgy and will take a tough line on the border.
According to the New York Times:
President Trump is expected to name Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a former attorney general of Virginia and an immigration hard-liner, as his choice to coordinate the administration’s immigration policies, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday.
The specifics of the role — including the title and the scope of duties — are still being hashed out, according to the official. But Mr. Cuccinelli is expected to be based in the Department of Homeland Security, not in the White House.
Mr. Cuccinelli met with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office on Monday, along with nearly a dozen other administration officials, including Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security. By Monday evening, Mr. Cuccinelli had begun placing calls to people to alert them that he was expected to get the job, according to people familiar with the discussions. The formal appointment could come as soon as this week, officials said.
Mr. Cuccinelli served as attorney general from 2010 to 2014, running unsuccessfully for governor of Virginia in 2013. He is a frequent presence on cable news, which Mr. Trump consumes with gusto. He is aligned with Mr. Trump on issues related to border security, though he caught the president’s attention during the 2016 presidential primaries, when he led the effort to strip Mr. Trump of delegates on behalf of an opponent, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a person close to the president said.