Photo by Saiyna Bashir, The Capital Times

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has “rescinded his acceptance” of an offer to join the Trump administration, a spokesman says.

Clarke announced in a radio interview last month that he had accepted an offer to become an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said the position was in the Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement.

But the agency never publicly announced the position.

In a statement late Saturday, Clarke spokesman Eric O’Keefe said the sheriff notified Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Friday that he would not accept the offer.

“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,” O’Keefe said.

Clarke became a regular surrogate for Trump during last year’s campaign. But he has also drawn fire for his frequent absences from his job as sheriff and four deaths at the county jail last year. Last month, a federal jury awarded $6.7 million to a woman who was raped by a guard while being held there four years ago.

The announcement comes days after President Trump visited Wisconsin to tout his efforts to boost apprenticeships and to do a fundraiser for Gov. Scott Walker. O’Keefe said Clarke met with the president Tuesday and “discussed other roles where the sheriff could be of greater assistance to the president, and the country. The sheriff is reviewing options inside and outside of government.”


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