Giuliani forming cybersecurity team for Trump


President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to assist on cybersecurity issues in the new administration. 

Transition spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that Giuliani will “chair” the cyber task force that Trump announced last Friday. That task force will have three months from Trump’s inauguration to deliver Trump a cybersecurity plan.  

He added that Giuliani, who has done private cybersecurity work since he left government, will be convening groups of private sector experts and executives who will meet with Trump on the issue.  

“Over the course of the last 20 years, our ability to use modern technology has evolved in ways we couldn’t possibly imagine – really fast, very quick, we can do things we never could do before. Our ability to defend that has lagged behind,” Giuliani told reporters Thursday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. 

“The president-elect is very much aware of this, it’s something he talked about quite a bit during the campaign, and what he wants to make sure is we now spend time having our defense, our cyber-defense, catch up to our offense. We need that in the private sector, we need that in government. Many of the solutions to it, and many of the problems, are in the private sector.”


The Trump transition in a statement said the president-elect wants to “obtain experiential and anecdotal information from each executive on challenges faced by his/her company, how the company met the challenges, approaches which were productive or successful, and those which were no.”

“As the use of modern communications and technology has moved forward at unparalleled speed the necessary defenses have lagged behind. The President-elect recognizes that this needs immediate attention and input from private sector leaders to help the government plan to make us more secure,” it adds.  

Public-private partnerships on cybersecurity have been supported by both parties. The Obama administration has worked to boost public-private information sharing, and Congress passed a major bill last year designed to facilitate threat-sharing between government and business. 

Trump has been on the defensive on cybersecurity issues as he deals with the fallout of the hacks on the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic groups, which the intelligence community has blamed on Russia. During a Wednesday press conference, he said that he believes Russia was responsible. 

After meeting with the intelligence community last week to discuss the government’s evidence on the hack, Trump announced he will appoint a team to create a plan within the first 90 days of his administration to combat cyber attacks.

But while Spicer told reporters Thursday that Giuliani would lead that task force, the administration’s statement notes that “no consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited.”

Spicer did not return a request to clarify the former mayor’s role or the marching orders of his task force.

Giuliani had been considered a candidate for Trump’s State Department, but said that he told the Trump team in November that he was not interested in a Cabinet spot. 

He’ll continue to work for his own security consulting business based out of New York. 

— Katie Bo Williams contributed to this report, which was updated at 9:33 a.m.

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