Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick

Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick
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The Senate confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber and infrastructure protection unit on Tuesday evening.

The Senate confirmed Christopher Krebs in a voice vote Tuesday to serve at the helm of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) roughly four months after Trump nominated him to the post. 

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In the role, Krebs will be responsible for overseeing the security of federal civilian networks and spearheading the federal government’s efforts to protect critical infrastructure from cyber and physical threats. NPPD is also newly responsible for helping states secure their digital voting systems following Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Krebs has been performing the role of undersecretary at NPPD in an acting capacity since last summer, and was officially nominated to the post by Trump in February.

“It’s an incredible honor to be confirmed as the Under Secretary; it represents the confidence that the Senate, the President, and the Secretary [Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenUS to prioritize attacks against foreign adversaries under new cyber strategy Paddlers sue Trump over frequent golf visits shutting down the Potomac River FEMA administrator nearly quit amid feud with DHS chief: report MORE] have in me to do this important job,” Krebs said in a statement. “I’m excited to drop the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary title and officially lead the NPPD team in advancing the cybersecurity and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.”

He said that his top legislative priority will be pressing Congress to pass legislation that would rename and reorganize NPPD — a bill that has passed the House but recently encountered a hang-up in the Senate.

“I will continue to work with Congress to pass this important legislation,” Krebs said.

Krebs’s nomination was not particularly controversial, and he has earned praise from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for his past experience in homeland security in the Bush administration and his work on Microsoft’s government affairs team.

However, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenGoogle says senators' Gmail accounts targeted by foreign hackers Wyden says foreign hackers targeted personal accounts of senators, staffers Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (D-Ore.) briefly blocked Krebs’s nomination in an effort to press Homeland Security to release more information about threats from devices known colloquially as “Stingrays” — mobile phone surveillance technology that the department recently detected evidence of in the D.C. area. Homeland Security has since provided the Democratic senator with more information on the activity.