Source: Carrie Dann / NBC News
President Barack Obama formally nominated former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson to head the Department of Homeland Security Friday, calling him “a cool and calm leader” who has worked across the aisle to bolster the nation’s security.
“Jeh is respected across our government as a team player,” Obama said during remarks at the White House Rose Garden. “He is someone who knows how to get folks who don’t always agree to work towards a common goal.”
Johnson, who left the Pentagon last year to return to New York law firm Paul Weiss, said he was not seeking to return back to public service but that “when I received the call, I could not refuse it.”
“I am a New Yorker, and I was present in Manhattan on 9/11, which happens to be my birthday,” he said. “When that bright and beautiful day was shattered by the largest terrorist attack on our homeland in history, I wandered the streets of New York and asked ‘What can I do?’ Since then, I have tried to devote myself to answering that question.”
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