"I'm both honored and humbled to be appointed to this position", Clarke said during the interview.
For years, Clarke has been a favorite of conservative media and campaigned for President Trump during the 2016 election.
Calling the news "disgraceful", officials with Voces de la Frontera, a pro-immigrant group in Milwaukee, joined the chorus of people Thursday weighing in on Sheriff Clarke's announcement that he will accept a position as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Most recently, corrections officers were blamed for the dehydration death of Terrill Thomas.
CNN contributor Margaret Hoover, a former adviser to the department, said: "I actually worked in the Department of Homeland Security with people who took the job and the post incredibly seriously, and this ... man also argued for suspending habeas corpus on his radio show, he is representative of a kind of government that believes in reality TV and in entertaining and not the responsibility of governing".
Clarke leaves Wisconsin amid calls for his resignation after an inquiry recommended felony charges in an inmate's death by dehydration in one of his jails past year. Clarke was in charge of the jail at the time of passing, through the grand jury ultimately decided that they "did not recommend criminal charges against Sheriff Clarke". Sheriff David Clarke gained nationwide attention previous year amid a series of remarks and social media posts about several controversial political topics.
Clarke's elevation to a national post would come at a time of great turmoil for him and the sheriff's office. "No such announcement with regard to the Office of Public Engagement has been made". According to his Milwaukee.Gov biography, Sheriff David Clarke has "38-plus years" of experience in law enforcement.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted, "Sheriff David Clarke's unconscionable record makes him unfit to serve". The department's duties range from counterterrorism to enforcing immigration laws. Although the agencies are given "considerable discretion" on how the forfeited assets are used, guidelines are outlined in the DOJ's Guide to Equitable Sharing for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.
The process to find a new sheriff will begin once the governor receives a resignation letter from Clarke, and Walker said that hasn't happened yet.
Since 2002, Clarke has been the sheriff of Milwaukee County. In 2015, Clarke was a guest on Fox News's Fox & Friends and claimed that police brutality ended in the 1960s.