Trump expected to name Ken Cuccinelli to immigration role

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By Peter Alexander and Lauren Egan  with NBC News Politics
Image: Donald Trump
Trump has been discussing appointing an "immigration czar" for months.   -   Copyright  Evan Vucci AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to name Ken Cuccinelli, a former attorney general of Virginia, to a top job at the Department of Homeland Security overseeing the administration's immigration policies.

Cuccinelli's expected appointment was first reported by The New York Times.

Trump has been discussing appointing an "immigration czar" for months, but a White House official did not clarify to NBC News what Cuccinelli's title and official job responsibilities might be. Trump's official announcement could come as soon as this week.

Trump was considering Cuccinelli and former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach for the newly created immigration position. But Kobach came under scrutiny this week when he reportedly demanded a list of requirements for the job, including access to a government plane, a future position in the president's cabinet, as well as unprecedented access to the president.

Cuccinelli, who met with Trump and other administration officials in the Oval Office on Monday, has been seen as an immigration hardliner, in line with White House advisers such as Stephen Miller. He served as the Virginia attorney general from 2010 to 2014 before running unsuccessfully for governor in 2013.

Although Cuccinelli shares the president's views on border security and immigration, he was a strong critic of Trump during the 2016 Republican primary. Cuccinelli famously threw his credentials on the ground during the 2016 Republican National Convention in protest of Trump, prompting Donald Trump Jr. to state that Cuccinelli looked like an "idiot."