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Trump, in fact, had no intention of appointing Alles, a retired Marine Corps major general and old friend of fellow marine Kelly's.

Official Washington and much of the national press was in an uproar Monday afternoon following the president's announcement Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles was being replaced. The president had soured on Mr. Alles a while ago, even making fun of his looks, calling him Dumbo because of his ears, two officials said.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - APRIL 08: Outgoing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks to the media outside of her home on April 08, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Secret Service is an agency that provides protection for president Trump and other top US officials.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said James Murray, a career Secret Service agent, will take over the Secret Service in May.

That's according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the personnel matter.

"I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards", Nielsen tweeted. Trump also announced that Kevin McAleenan, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, would become acting DHS secretary.

There was speculation in the U.S. media that he may have been axed in connection to an incident in March at Trump's golf club and weekend retreat in Florida, where an unauthorized woman got past security carrying Chinese passports and several electronic devices including a thumb drive allegedly found to contain malware.

And regarding the incident at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said he is "not concerned at all".

He expressed "regret" he was not able to address the department before the news broke.

Alles insisted he was not fired in a letter emailed to staffers at the Secret Service on Monday and revealed he was informed weeks ago that the Trump administration meant to execute "transitions in leadership" across DHS.

The White House on April 8 confirmed that the United States Secret Service chief is stepping down after reports emerged saying he would be leaving. The White House and DHS did not respond to requests for comment.

Nielsen and Trump had often clashed over immigration issues during her 16 months in the job. Trump was so frustrated about the increase that he announced he would cut off USA aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.