In January, the-President-elect Donald Trump assured the public he would be appointing a crack team to deal with cybersecurity issues following reports from U.S. intelligence that Russia had meddled in the election.
Trump’s Jan. 6 statement said that to keep America safe — his “number one priority” — he would “appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office.” Now 90 days have passed, and no such plan has been announced.
released by “Intelligence” even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
According to a report in Politico, there is no plan, nor a team, nor any definitive statement from the White House regarding who is working on cybersecurity issues. Anti-hacking measures would usually fall within the remit of the National Security Council, but an NSC spokesperson told Politico it was not involved in a cybersecurity plan and was not aware such a plan even existed. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said he was unaware of any such 90-day plan.
The White House issued a statement expressing a plan was indeed in action, though it didn’t explain why the deadline had been missed: “The president has appointed a diverse set of executives with both government and private sector expertise who are currently working to deliver an initial cybersecurity plan through a joint effort between the National Security Council and the Office of American Innovation.”
Earlier this year, Trump had given former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani a role in his cybersecurity plans, at the time saying he was assembling some of the “greatest computer minds” to tackle the problem of hacking. Many critics believed this was an “absurd choice,” given Giuliani’s thin cybersecurity credentials. Notwithstanding Giuliani’s hacking acumen, he also told Politico that he was not involved in the 90-day report.
This latest unkept promise has been widely viewed as a stark sign that the administration has bitten off more than it can chew.