The White House top cyber policy adviser role is going to be removed, which means that the government now will be left without the policy position that aimed to help streamline its overall approach to cyber-security policy across federal agencies, Politico reported.
“The National Security Council’s cyber office already has two very capable Senior Directors. Moving forward, these Senior Directors will coordinate cyber matters and policy. As they sit six feet apart from one another, they will be able to coordinate in real time,” said Robert Palladino, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “Today’s actions continue an effort to empower National Security Council Senior Directors. Streamlining management will improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability.”
According to Politico, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, John Bolton, was looking to end the position for some time now. “The role of cyber coordinator will end,” Christine Samuelian, an aide to Bolton, reportedly said in the email to NSC staffers.
By citing a quote from Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 70, Samuelian also said “eliminating another layer of bureaucracy delivers greater ‘decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch’.”
Meanwhile, Rob Joyce was the latest official to hold this position, but last week he joined the handful of other national security officials who have left the White House.
Joyce previously worked in the NSA, where he led an elite hacking group known as the Tailored Access Operations Unit. He announced he would return to NSA last month.
“Rob Joyce, a career federal employee detailed to the National Security Council, has conveyed his intent to return to his home agency, the National Security Agency,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Trump’s top homeland security aide, Tom Bossert, also resigned earlier this month.
The Bossert and Joyce resignations sparked worries in Washington about the road ahead for the White House’s cyber policy-making efforts.
“With cyber threats ever-changing and growing more sophisticated by the day, there is no logical reason to eliminate this senior position and reduce the already degraded level of cyber expertise at the White House,” said Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson.