Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano rebuffed on Thursday the idea that she hotly pursued an appointment as the head of the Justice Department.
She was speaking with Jorge Ramos on “AMERICA with Jorge Ramos.”
“Politico just reported that you left the administration because you wanted to be attorney general, and that the president didn’t offer you that job,” Ramos said. “Is there any truth to that?”
“No, that’s inaccurate,” she replied. “I think that’s kind of Washington game-playing, inside-the-Beltway stuff.”
“I enjoyed being the secretary…enjoyed’s too…is the wrong verb, it’s a tough job. It’s not just immigration, it’s disaster response, it’s protecting the nation’s infrastructure, like our cybernetworks, it’s terrorism, counter-terrorism, as your first questions involved. It’s a twenty-four, seven job where people’s lives literally are on the line, all the time. And I did that job, did it to the best of my abilities.”
“So you didn’t want to be attorney general?”
“I was perfectly happy being the secretary,” Napolitano answered.
Politico reported that Napolitano was interested in taking the place of Attorney General Eric Holder, who she thought might be replaced during the second Obama term.
During her post-election Oval Office sit-down with Obama in late 2012, Napolitano suggested that she would serve in any role Obama wanted, but she also made a point of telling him she wasn’t the source of stories suggesting she was gunning for Holder’s job. Obama was his usual vague self, offering Napolitano a hearty thank you and an oblique assurance that she would play a vital role in the second term. She responded with a vow to stay around for “roughly another year.”