Trump Orders the Establishment of a National Vetting Center to “Identify Individuals Who Present a Threat”

Posted: 2:56 am ET

 

The Presidential Memorandum is titled “Optimizing the Use of Federal Government Information in Support of the National Vetting Enterprise”. On February 6, Trump ordered the establishment of an interagency National Vetting Center “to identify individuals who present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety.”

Border and immigration security are essential to ensuring the safety, security, and prosperity of the United States. The Federal Government must improve the manner in which executive departments and agencies (agencies) coordinate and use intelligence and other information to identify individuals who present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety. To achieve this goal, the United States Government must develop an integrated approach to use data held across national security components. I am, therefore, directing the establishment of a National Vetting Center (Center), subject to the oversight and guidance of a National Vetting Governance Board (Board), to coordinate the management and governance of the national vetting enterprise.

The National Vetting Governance Board will have the following composition:

The Board shall consist of six senior executives, one designated by each of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The chair of the Board will be rotational:

The chair of the Board shall rotate annually among the individuals designated from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  The director of the Center shall serve as an observer at Board meetings.

More:

(a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish the Center to support the national vetting enterprise.

(i)    The Center shall coordinate agency vetting efforts to identify individuals who present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety.  Agencies may conduct any authorized border or immigration vetting activities through or with the Center.  Agencies may support these additional activities, provided that such support is consistent with applicable law and the policies and procedures described in subsections (b) and (d) of this section.

(ii)   The Secretary of Homeland Security shall designate a full‑time senior officer or employee of the Department of Homeland Security to serve as the director of the Center.  The Secretary of State and the Attorney General shall detail or assign senior officials from their respective agencies to serve as deputy directors of the Center.

(iii)  The director shall lead the day-to-day operations of the Center, communicate vetting needs and priorities to other agencies engaged in the national vetting enterprise, and make resourcing recommendations to the Board established pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.

(iv)   Agencies shall provide to the Center access to relevant biographic, biometric, and related derogatory information for its use to the extent permitted by and consistent with applicable law and policy, including the responsibility to protect sources and methods.  Agencies and the Center shall, on a consensus basis, determine the most appropriate means or methods to provide access to this information to the Center.

(v)    The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency shall, on a continuing basis, work together to ensure, consistent with the authorities and available resources of each official’s respective agency, that the daily operations and functions of the Center, as determined by the Board, are supported, including through the assignment of legal and other appropriate personnel, and the provision of other necessary resources, consistent with applicable law, including the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535).  To the extent permitted by law, details or assignments to the Center should be without reimbursement.

(vi)   The day-to-day operations of the Center shall be executed by appropriate personnel from agencies participating in the national vetting enterprise, to the extent permitted by law, in a manner that adequately facilitates active and timely coordination and collaboration in the execution of the Center’s functions.  Agencies shall participate in the Center and shall provide adequate physical presence to enable the Center to effectively accomplish its mission.  To the extent appropriate, additional agency co-location may be virtual rather than physical.  Each agency shall fund its participation in the Center, consistent with the agency’s mission and applicable law.  There shall be no interagency financing of the Center.

(vii)  The Center shall not commence operations until the President has approved the implementation plan described in subsection (g) of this section.

Deliverable:

Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and using the NSPM‑4 process, jointly submit to the President for approval a plan to implement this memorandum.

Read the full memorandum here.

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Airborne Lifeline’s Johnathan Miller to be Asst Administrator For @USAIDAfrica

Posted: 2:05 am ET

 

On January 12, the WH announced the President’s intent to nominate Johnathan Miller, most recently president of the Airborne Lifeline Foundation, to be USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa. The WH released the following bio:

Johnathan Miller of Virginia, to be an Assistant Administrator (Bureau for Africa) of the United States Agency for International Development. Mr. Miller most recently served as president of Airborne Lifeline Foundation, which provided scheduled air transport of medical personnel to remote medical facilities in several Southern African countries. Previously, he served as president of Bluemont International and partner at The Brock Group, specializing in emerging market work in Africa and Asia. He also served as the president of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the largest equine rescue organization in the world. Mr. Miller also served as Peace Corps Director in Botswana, at USAID and the Department of State. In addition, he was Senior Director at the National Security Council and Deputy Assistant to President Reagan. Mr. Miller was chief of staff to former Congressman William Goodling of Pennsylvania. He is a Member of the Kentucky Bar and received an A.B. from Duke University and a J.D. from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

The foundation’s website has more details and still lists Mr. Miller as president and CEO:

Johnathan Miller is president and CEO of Airborne Lifeline Foundation. He founded the organization in 2005 after recognizing the need for regular medical care in remote villages in Botswana.

Johnathan is president of Bluemont International, an international strategic advisory firm, specializing in Africa and Asia. Prior to that, he served as partner and managing director of the Brock Group, an international trade advisory firm. He developed a large Asia-Pacific practice with clients that included a prominent U.S. aerospace firm, several major global consumer goods companies, two of the world’s largest beverage companies, several major U.S. and foreign air carriers, a leading manufacturer of fuel additives, and a provincial government in China.

Johnathan held high-level positions in the U.S. government during the Reagan administration. He served at the U.S. Agency for International Development and as Peace Corps director to Botswana. As senior director at the National Security Council, he coordinated President Reagan’s foreign missions, including the first Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Geneva and the president’s visits to Indonesia, the Tokyo economic summit, Mexico, and Grenada. Johnathan also coordinated visits to the U.S. by foreign heads of state, including the prime ministers of Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Later, as deputy assistant to the president for Management and Administration, he oversaw the management of the Executive Office of the President.

Johnathan graduated from Duke University and the University of Louisville School of Law.

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Jackie Wolcott to be U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and UN Vienna (UNVIE)

Posted: 1:38 am ET

 

On January 12, the WH announced the President’s intent to nominate Jackie Wolcott to be the next U.S. Representative to the  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The WH released the following brief bio:

Jackie Wolcott of Virginia, to be the Representative of the United States of America with the rank of Ambassador, on the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Also, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Vienna Office of the United Nations, with the Rank of Ambassador. Ms. Wolcott has served as commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom since 2016, following service as the Commission’s executive director from 2010-2015. She served in the Department of State as Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation (2008-2009), Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador (2006-2008), U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament and Special Representative of the President of the United States for the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, with Rank of Ambassador in Geneva, Switzerland (2003-2006) and Alternate Representative to the Board of Governors and General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria (2004-2005). Ms. Wolcott earned a B.A. from Bowling Green State University.

Ambassador Walcott was a member of the Trump transition team and was also part of the Agency Landing Team at the State Department following Trump’s election (see Trump Transition: Agency Landing Team For @StateDept Includes Old Familiar Names):

According to state.gov, Ambassador Wolcott was previously appointed U.S. Ambassador to the UN Security Council. She also previously served as United States Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and as Special Representative of the President of the United States for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons from December 2003 through February of 2006.  She had been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (State/OI) from 2001 to 2003.  Ballotpedia says that she is a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. Click here for her bio from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom where she is commissioner.

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WH’s Pick For Barbados Ambassadorship “Should Feel Free to Put on His Tinfoil Hat” Sez @SenSasse Spox

Posted: 1:08 am ET
 

 

The WH announced the Rizzuto nomination early last month (see Prominent Businessman Leandro Rizzuto Jr to be Ambassador to Barbados, But Wait – #ForgotSomething?). Now CNN’s @KFILE has a piece about the nominee’s um … colorful Twitter history. Senator Cruz’s wife Heidi is an architect of the North American Union? Whoa-ha-ha! Who knew about the NAU? We’d like a job there as long as we’re posted in Canada.

GOP Senator Ben Sasse’s spox released a statement saying the nominee “should feel free to put on his tinfoil hat and visit our office with evidence for his salacious conspiracy theories and cuckoo allegations.” Oh, wow! Is he just saying that, and then the Senator will later vote to confirm the nominee? As of this writing, the SFRC does not have a schedule for Mr. Rizzuto’s confirmation hearing.  But we should be ready with the popcorn, anyway.  There will be a hearing, unless he withdraw his name for consideration, which happens with more frequency these days by the way, but it’s not a bad thing, really. Or he doesn’t, and then there will be a cliffhanger on whether he gets the Barbados post or not. It’ll be a ratings bonanza.

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