President Donald Trump has chosen a “career member” of the Secret Service to be its new director starting in May, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday afternoon.
Sanders’ announcement of the selection of James Murray followed the news that Trump was removing the current director of the Secret Service, Randolph “Tex” Alles, amid a shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.
In her statement announcing the move, Sanders described Murray as “a career member” of the US Secret Service.
A brief biography of Murray provided by the Secret Service said he is a New Jersey native who attended the University of Scranton and Seton Hall University before starting a career as an Army Reserve officer and a special agent in the Department of Transportation.
Murray has been in the Secret Service since 1995, according to the biography, beginning in New York before joining the presidential protective division in 2001. He held various positions in the agency from there, including as a liaison to Congress, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Washington field office and the agent in charge of the agency’s training center in Maryland.
Alles said in an email to Secret Service employees obtained by CNN that his incoming successor “is a consummate professional” and that he was confident in Murray, whom he referred to as the agency’s assistant director of the office of protective operations. Murray wrote a letter to the National Park Service under that title last year requesting a closure for sidewalks under the Park Service’s jurisdiction around the White House complex during a white nationalist protest that was scheduled to take place in Washington.
Justice Department news releases in 2016 named Murray as a special agent in charge at the Secret Service’s Washington field office, and repeated releases from the Justice Department showed Murray joining with federal officials in that role to announce sentences for people convicted of financial crimes in the Washington area.
The announced choice of Murray contrasted with Trump’s choice earlier in his presidency to name Alles, a retired Marine general and Customs and Border Protection official, to head of the agency responsible for the security of himself and his family.