Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says he has accepted a top position at the Department of Homeland Security, he announced during a radio interview Wednesday.
“I will be leaving the position of sheriff to accept an appointment as assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security,” Clarke said during an interview with WISN radio host Vicki McKenna.
“I’m both honored and humbled to be a appointed to this position by [DHS Sec. John Kelly] working for the Trump administration.”
Clarke, a conservative Democrat, will reportedly take the position of assistant secretary at the agency’s office of partnership and programs. The office partners with state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.
He will begin working at DHS in June.
Clarke was recently floated as a long shot to replace former FBI Director James Comey after his firing last week. Rumors surfaced last month that Clarke was being considered for a Homeland Security position.
Clarke’s tough talk on crime has made him a hit with conservatives, including with President Trump’s base. He has been a vocal critic of illegal immigration and anti-police crime. He has also caused controversy over his remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Clarke’s new job will be “a huge undertaking,” he told McKenna.
“I’m almost overwhelmed just with the thought of it, but at the same time I never shy away from a challenge,” he said.
The Department of Homeland Security declined to say whether Clarke has been offered the position.
“The position mentioned is a Secretarial appointment. Such senior positions are announced by the Department when made official by the Secretary. No such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made,”.