Homeland Security chairman calls on new Trump aide to reestablish cyber coordinator

Homeland Security chairman calls on new Trump aide to reestablish cyber coordinator
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonUS ban on China tech giant faces uncertainty a month out Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Hillicon Valley: Democrats seize on whistleblower complaint to push for election security | Google taps GOP Senate aide to lead lobbying | Warren calls for congressional tech office MORE (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE’s new national security adviser Robert O’Brien to prioritize reestablishing the White House cybersecurity coordinator position.

The post was eliminated in 2018 following the departure of former Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce. 

Former National Security Advisor John BoltonJohn BoltonGadhafi's ghost still haunts US policymakers Trump job approval slips 2 points in Gallup poll Washington indecision compounded the Kurds' dilemma MORE then formally eliminated the position, which was originally created by President Obama in 2009 to help coordinate cyber efforts across federal agencies. 

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With President Trump’s designation of O’Brien, who previously served as the chief hostage negotiator for the State Department, as the new national security adviser on Wednesday, Thompson called on O’Brien to immediately bring back the cybersecurity coordinator position.

“Mr. O’Brien, President Trump’s fourth National Security Advisor, is named when threats facing the nation have evolved and our adversaries are exploiting cyberspace in new ways to advance their economic ambitions, assert influence, and undermine U.S. power,” Thompson said in a statement.

Thompson emphasized that O’Brien’s “first act as National Security Advisor must be to bring back the position of White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. Despite concerns raised when the position was eliminated last year, the White House has done little to address the vacuum left behind.”

He added that “with cyber threats becoming more sophisticated and growing by the day, including the persistent threat to our election systems, there is no reason that the White House should have allowed this position to be eliminated.”

Thompson was one of the members of Congress who criticized the elimination of the cybersecurity coordinator position last year. At the time, Thompson said that there was “no logical reason” to eliminate the position in the face of increasing cyber threats.