Trump taps outsider to lead Secret Service

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Randolph "Tex" Alles, the current head of Customs and Border Protection, was named the director of the Secret Service on Tuesday.

Alles will take over for Secret Service Deputy Director William Callahan, who has been leading the agency in an acting capacity since March 4, when then-Director Joseph Clancy retired.

Alles' selection by President Donald Trump does not require Senate approval, and it marks a departure for the Secret Service, whose leaders have typically come from within its own ranks.

The announcement was made in a brief statement distributed by the White House.

The former major general will inherit an agency that's been mired in scandals, negative press attention and low morale.

Last month, a man made it onto the White House grounds and managed to stay there for 16 minutes – an incident that resulted in the firing of two uniformed Secret Service officers and other potential disciplinary action. Meanwhile, that same month, a laptop containing sensitive information was stolen from an agent's car, and in April, another agent was suspended after meeting with a prostitute.

The incidents followed a string of breaches and missteps under former President Barack Obama, from a knife-wielding man who jumped a fence and managed to enter the White House before being stopped in September 2014, to eight agents who lost their jobs after hiring prostitutes during an advance trip to Colombia in April 2012, to an incident in November 2011 when gunshots struck the White House but went unrecognized by agents for four days.

The scandals have contributed to dismal morale among the Secret Service's rank and file – a situation made worse by onerous work schedules and salary restrictions that, until Obama signed a new bill in December, capped agents' pay at $160,300, including overtime.

The 152-year-old agency is responsible for protecting the president, as well as first lady Melania Trump and the couple's youngest son, Barron, who continue to live in New York, as well as Trump's adult children, Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr.

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