David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, announced on Wednesday he will be taking up the position of assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, starting June. While criticism of his appointment began pouring in on social media, the DHS clarified it had made no such announcement yet.
“I’m both honored and humbled to be appointed to this position by Secretary [John F.] Kelly, working for the Trump administration,” Clarke told WISN-AM.
While his statement could be seen as a confirmation of the fact that he has a job at Homeland Security, that is not the case. The department recognized the fact that a Senate confirmation is not mandatory for that particular position, but it also explicitly stated: “No such announcement with regard to the office of public engagement has been made.”
If Clarke’s appointment becomes official, he will work with state, local and tribal law enforcement in the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement, starting June.
Clarke rose to prominence during President Donald Trump’s election campaign when he became well-known as a high-profile supporter of the Republican candidate. His recognition led to him being one of the very few African-American speakers at the Republican National Convention. He continues to defend the POTUS post-election as a cable news surrogate.
However, Clarke’s rhetoric and actions have raised quite a few eyebrows in the past. He called the Black Lives Matter movement “anarchy” and also equated his hatred toward the movement with his anti-Islamic sentiments.
“[The Black Lives Matter movement] will join forces with [the Islamic State] to bring down our legal constituted republic. You heard it here first,” he said in November 2015, UPI reported.