Kevin McAleenan is leaving the Trump administration, with the acting secretary of Homeland Security announcing on Friday that he is leaving his post.
The iconic image of McAleenan holding a map of Hurricane Dorian covered in sharpie marker will likely live on.
As CNN reported, McAleenan submitted his resignation to the White House on Friday, a move that comes amid growing scandals for the Trump administration, but the resignation was reportedly not related to the impeachment inquiry Trump now faces. The report noted that McAleenan believed that he had accomplished all he could in the role, as there appeared to be little chance that a bipartisan legislation reform bill could come in an election year.
“Moreover, with the numbers of undocumented immigrants apprehended or turned away at the border coming down for the fourth consecutive month — 52,546 in September, a 65% drop from May — the lack of crisis is dissuading members of Congress to act and compromise,” the report noted. “McAleenan also has two young daughters and a wife with whom he wants to spend more time.”
The report noted that McAleenan had planned his exit for weeks. He was never formally nominated for his cabinet position, and appeared to push back at times against Donald Trump’s tone on immigration that CNN described as “racist.”
“What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time,” McAleenan had said in an interview. “That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.”
McAleenan was also part of one of the most iconic images of Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House. It was McAleenan who, as acting secretary of Homeland Security, held a map showing projections of Hurricane Dorian that had a scribbled sharpie marker to extend the projection toward Alabama following an incorrect claim by Trump that the state was in danger of being hit.
Trump continued to double down on his misstatement, claiming that the official projections had at one point shown Alabama in the path of the storm, despite being repeatedly corrected by meteorologists.
The map that McAleenan held was apparently Donald Trump’s attempt to show that he was right all along, with reports saying that Trump personally took a sharpie marker and extended the official projection to make it appear as if it could hit Alabama when the real projection did not show it going that far.
McAleenan was photographed holding the map with a stone-faced expression as Trump showed off the map.