On Tuesday, the National Security Council officially scrapped the top White House cybersecurity policy position, part of new National Security Adviser John Bolton's push to centralize control of the NSC. "The role of cyber coordinator will end," Christine Samuelian, an aide to Bolton, told NSC staffers in an email obtained by Politico. The cybersecurity expert President Trump had appointed to the position, Rob Joyce, left the White House on Friday to return to the National Security Agency.
Samuelian explained that Bolton axed the government's point person on cybersecurity and cyber warfare because "eliminating another layer of bureaucracy delivers greater 'decision, activity, secrecy, and despatch,'" a reference to Alexander Hamilton's Federalist No. 70. Cybersecurity experts and some lawmakers criticized the decision, especially given the increase in foreign cyber-malfeasance in politics and business.
Also on Tuesday, Reps. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to create a new White House National Office for Cyberspace, to be led by a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee who would fill the role that Bolton just cut and also advise federal agencies on cybersecurity tactics and resources and protect federal information technology in the event of an attack. Peter Weber