Sheriff David Clarke Says He’s Joining DHS

The conservative firebrand said Wednesday he will be in the Office of Partnership and Engagement, where he will work with local police and governments.

“I’ll be a liaison with state and local governments, with the private sector and – one that’s really near and dear to me – liaison to state and local and tribal law enforcement,” Clarke said, announcing the his new position to conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna, who is based in Milwaukee.

Clarke said he will assume the new post in June. The position does not require Senate confirmation.

Though a registered Democrat as sheriff of Milwaukee, Clarke was a vigorous supporter of President Donald Trump during the campaign.

He has attracted criticism from Democrats and others for expressing deeply conservative views – often in provocative posts on Twitter – in favor of gun rights, a crackdown on immigration and a hard-line position on drug enforcement. He was also highly critical of the Black Lives Matter movement at one point labeling activists “subhuman creeps.”

Clarke spoke by phone for about 15 minutes on McKenna’s show. He said he looked forward to improving DHS’s working relationship with local police.

“They want to know, can there be a two-way exchange here? Their needs met, our needs met – there have to be two ways,” Clarke said. “One of the ways Secretary Kelly indicated to me was that, oftentimes, at the local level, they feel it’s one way: The government telling us … we’ll do it this way. That turns people off at the local level.”

Clarke’s announcement comes about two weeks after DHS announced that Julie Kirchner, former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that supports a crackdown on immigration, would become the ombudsman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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