Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke No Longer Being Considered For DHS Position

David Clarke, the controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff who was apparently up for consideration for a position at the Department of Homeland Security before it was revealed that he had plagiarized his Master’s Thesis, is no longer under consideration for a Federal Government position:

WASHINGTON — David A. Clarke Jr., the polarizing Milwaukee County sheriff and a vocal supporter of President Trump, has said he would not accept a senior position that he had been offered at the Homeland Security Department.

Sheriff Clarke, who once claimed that the Islamic State and Black Lives Matter activists were forming an alliance to destroy America, notified John F. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, of his decision on Friday, according to an adviser.

“Sheriff Clarke is 100 percent committed to the success of President Trump, and believes his skills could be better utilized to promote the president’s agenda in a more aggressive role,” Craig Peterson, an adviser to the sheriff, said in a statement.

The Washington Post first reported Mr. Clarke’s decision on Saturday.

Mr. Peterson said that Mr. Clarke met with the president on Tuesday to discuss other roles — both inside and outside the government — that the sheriff might consider to help carry out Mr. Trump’s agenda.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security ever acknowledged that Sheriff Clarke was actually offered a job at the agency. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to request for comment.

When Mr. Clarke said last month on a Milwaukee radio show that he would join the homeland security agency as an assistant secretary, it set off alarms in Wisconsin and in Washington.

Chris Abele, the Milwaukee County executive, said in a statement at the time, “The appointment of Sheriff Clarke to a position intended to build partnership and engagement is not a decision made by someone interested in partnership or engagement.”

Juliette N. Kayyem, who was assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration, wrote on Twitter: “I am floored. And feel for my career staff.”

Senator Kamala Harris of California, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote in a Twitter post: “Sheriff David Clarke’s unconscionable record makes him unfit to serve. This appointment is a disgrace.”

Sheriff Clarke, who gained national attention when he spoke at the Republican National Convention last July, is a vocal proponent of gun rights and is a member of the National Rifle Association. That association has often brought him into conflict with the Black Lives Matter movement, which rose to prominence after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014.

In addition to the plagiarism charges, Clarke has long been the subject of charges that his department has mistreated prisoners and suspects alike during his tenure. Most recently, he has been under investigation in connection with the death of an inmate. To be fair, Clarke’s claim that he was up for a DHS position came entirely from him and his own camp. It was never acknowledged by anyone in the Trump Administration or at the Department of Homeland Security prior to the time that the plagiarism charges became public, so it’s unclear how accurate that claim ever actually was.

Update: Apparently, Clarke was offered a position:

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    When David Clarke decides he doesn’t want to be part of your administration…you’ve really hit rock bottom.

  2. @CSK:

    To be fair, it’s not clear he was ever offered anything. We have only his word for that and that probably isn’t worth much.

  3. Not the IT Dept. says:

    I was going to say, when your desperate months-long attempts to get noticed, let alone hired, by the Trump administration don’t work, then you really are a pathetic POS.

  4. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Oh, I know. But I believe someone in the administration was considering it, and made an unofficial overture to Clarke.

  5. Gustopher says:

    I am mildly disappointed. Sheriffissimo Clarke would have made a perfectly fine mascot for the administration — he and his plagiarized thesis, and his chestful of meaningless medals, and his many moral, ethical and practical failures would have fit right in.

    On the other hand, the country is better off having whatever position he was offered remain vacant rather than having him in it.

  6. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    …believes his skills could be better utilized to promote the president’s agenda in a more aggressive role…

    Why is it that my first thought reading this statement was “for example, busting heads out on the streets of Milwaukee’s more economically disadvantaged neighborhoods?” Have I really become that cynical and jaded about the intentions of the Trump Administration and the GOP?

    F#*k, I guess I have. Oh well…

  7. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Head’s up! There’s a fake DHS letter offering Clarke a job that’s floating around Twitter. It’s full of spelling mistakes but it’s being taken seriously by more than a few.

  8. Barry says:

    I wonder if Clarke had a decent lawyer, who pointed out that moving to DC would mean that a much higher tier of reporters would take an interest in him.