President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to assist on cybersecurity issues in his new administration.
As Giuliani descended down the elevator at Trump Tower, he gleefully stopped to speak to reporters, offering to read from the press release regarding his new position “to be that I’m absolutely accurate.”
“President elect Trump is very pleased to announce former mayor Rudy Giuliani will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend coordinating private sector cybersecurity problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector,” he read from the press release.
Trump’s incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Giuliani will “chair” the cyber task force that Trump announced last Friday. That task force will have three months from Trump’s inauguration to deliver Trump a cybersecurity plan.
He added that Giuliani, who has done private cybersecurity work since he left government, will be convening groups of private sector experts and executives who will meet with Trump on the issue.
“Over the course of the last 20 years, our ability to use modern technology has evolved in ways we couldn’t possibly imagine — really fast, very quick, we can do things we never could do before. Our ability to defend that has lagged behind,” Giuliani told reporters at Trump Tower.
“The president-elect is very much aware of this, it’s something he talked about quite a bit during the campaign, and what he wants to make sure is we now spend time having our defense, our cyber-defense, catch up to our offense. We need that in the private sector, we need that in government. Many of the solutions to it, and many of the problems, are in the private sector.”
The Trump transition team in a statement said that the President-elect wants to “obtain experiential and anecdotal information from each executive on challenges faced by his/her company, how the company met the challenges, approaches which were productive or successful, and those which were no.”
“As the use of modern communications and technology has moved forward at unparalleled speed the necessary defenses have lagged behind. The President-elect recognizes that this needs immediate attention and input from private sector leaders to help the government plan to make us more secure,” it added.
The public-private partnerships on cybersecurity is nothing new and has received bipartisan support. The Obama administration has worked to boost public-private information sharing, and Congress passed a major bill last year designed to facilitate threat-sharing between government and business.
Giuliani also spent some time speaking to reporters about the Russian hacking and the latest spat that the Trump team has waged against what it terms as “fake news” from outlets like CNN who reported that the U.S. intelligence chiefs briefed the President and President-elect on information that suggests that the Russian government has compromising information on Trump and that members of his team continuously coordinated with Russia during the campaign. Giuliani’s comments begin at about 6:05 in the interview above.