Donald Trump punted on a cybersecurity promise, giving documented cyberattackers like Russia yet another pass as investigations about their ties to Trump accelerate.
Donald Trump has abandoned a promise he made to present a report on day 90 of his presidency that would address the issue of cybersecurity, once again giving Russia and other sponsors of hacking attacks a pass.
In January, after meeting with leaders in the intelligence community during the presidential transition, Trump promised that he would “aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks” and “appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office.”
As of his 90th day in office, Trump has neither appointed nor announced a team to deal with this pressing issue.
In a declassified report, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian intelligence operatives broke into the Democratic National Committee’s computer networks, releasing the content of private emails online in order to politically hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump.
Since then, the FBI has said it is conducting a probe of Trump’s presidential campaign and its contacts with Russian elements. As these revelations have come to light, Trump has repeatedly attacked the news outlets reporting on these developments as “fake news.”
Yet, as Politico reports, neither the National Security Council nor the team Trump hosted at an event led by Rudy Giuliani to discuss cybersecurity appears aware of any directive on the matter. Michael Sulmeyer, director of the Harvard Belfer Center’s Cyber Security Project, told Politico, “Given so much attention on North Korea this past week, and that North Korea conducted one of the most serious cyberattacks against the United States, we should expect the new administration to be on the case.”
When given the power to protect American assets and infrastructure against outside cyberattacks, despite the documented threat from Russia, Trump is once again putting the interests of a foreign adversary above those of his own country.