UPDATE 5:30 p.m. EST:
According to Jim Acosta of CNN, the Department of Homeland Security could not confirm Sheriff Clarke’s claim.
DHS on Sheriff Clarke hiring: "No such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 17, 2017
A spokeswoman from DHS told TheBlaze, “The position mentioned is a Secretarial appointment. Such senior positions are announced by the Department when made official by the Secretary.”
Original story continues below.
Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke said that he is accepting an appointment by President Donald Trump to a deputy secretary position at Department of Homeland Security. He revealed the news while speaking to radio host Vicki McKenna on her show Wednesday.
“This is a huge undertaking,” he said to McKenna, “I’m almost overwhelmed just with the thought of it, but at the same time, I never shy away from a challenge. You know I said from the beginning after President Trump was elected, if asked to serve, I would, and it’s just time to move on to my next chapter in law enforcement.”
Confirmed in an exclusive interview on my show, @SheriffClarke will leave his position as Milwaukee County Sheriff for a position at DHS.
— Vicki McKenna (@VickiMcKenna) May 17, 2017
Clarke has become a social media sensation with his often-fiery and very conservative commentary on politics. He is a frequent guest on Fox News shows commenting about law enforcement and race issues. He has also been a vocal supporter and fierce defender of Trump.
He told McKenna he was “humbled and honored” to accept the position. He would be leaving his position as sheriff of Milwaukee in June, he said, but he would not give an exact date.
Clarke has been criticized by some in the past for allegedly neglecting his duties as sheriff in order to cultivate his national presence.
Conservative Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes said of Clarke, “He clearly has just kind of moved on to this national stature. There are a lot of jobs you don’t have to show up for, but [sheriff] is one where you do.”
He’s also been blamed for inmate deaths at the Milwaukee County Jail, including that of a mentally ill man who died from dehydration after water was shut off to his cell.
Clarke’s new position will be at the Department of Homeland Security Office of Partnership and Engagement, and does not require Senate approval. That means he won’t have to face what would likely be tough questioning from Democrats for controversial comments while a guest at Fox News.