Trump removes secret service director in agency’s ‘near-systematic purge’

Trump fires Secret Service chief – reports

"By the end of the week, more than half of the department's agency heads could be gone with the positions vacant or with acting [personnel]", one senior administration official told ABC News.

Her departure had been long rumored particularly after criticism of the administration's 2018 family separation policy at the border with Mexico and as USA border officials estimated that 100,000 migrants were apprehended at the southern border in March, the highest level in a decade.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said later Monday that Trump has picked James M. Murray, a career USSS official, to replace Alles. She added Alles will be "leaving shortly".

The Secret Service director reports to the director of Homeland Security. One Secret Service source described Murray as a "good pick".

Alles reportedly was told to pack it in before the March 30 security breach at Mar-a-Lago, in which a Chinese woman with a flash drive containing malware and four cellphones bluffed her way into Trump's posh resort.

Still, it comes amid a spate of turnover across DHS that began last week when Trump withdrew his Immigration and Customs Enforcement director's nomination to stay on permanently. The Associated Press reported that Nielsen had been frustrated with the difficulty of getting other departments to help to deal with the growing number of families crossing the border.

Unconfirmed reports citing the same anonymous sources also say that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Francis Cissna and DHS General Counsel John Mitnick will be asked to leave as well.

Mr Alles was appointed by Mr Trump in April 2017. The director oversees the Secret Service's work on both protection and investigations.

Alles has been asked to leave on Monday, a number of United States mainstream media outlets reported citing anonymous administration officials.

Interim secretaries are also in place at the Departments of Defence, the Department of the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget, among other federal agencies.

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