Trump taps Army cyber chief as next NSA head

President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the leader of the Army’s digital warfighting arm, to helm the National Security Agency.

The move, which was long expected, will also put Nakasone atop U.S. Cyber Command, the Defense Department’s digital warfighting unit, once he is confirmed by the Senate. The two organizations have shared a leader since the Pentagon launched Cyber Command in 2009.

Rob Joyce, Trump’s top cyber adviser, announced the pick on Twitter.

"An exceptional leader for two exceptional [organizations], he brings great experience and strong cyber background," Joyce wrote.

Both the NSA and Cyber Command need a new head after current NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers announced he would retire this spring after a nearly four-year term.

Nakasone, 54, has been the chief of Army Cyber Command since late 2016. In that role, he also directed Joint Task Force Ares, a special unit Continue reading “Trump taps Army cyber chief as next NSA head”

FBI director puts responsibility for Porter on White House

Trump expected to tap Army cyber warfare chief to lead NSA

President Donald Trump is expected to pick Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of the Army’s digital warfare branch, to head the clandestine National Security Agency, according to multiple people on and off Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon with knowledge of the situation.

The NSA is looking for a new leader after its current director, Adm. Mike Rogers, announced he will retire this spring, ending a near four-year run.

Picking Nakasone — who took the reins at Army Cyber Command in late 2016 — would place someone deeply versed in cyberspace operations atop the country’s premier intelligence-gathering service. As NSA head, Nakasone would also lead U.S. Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s digital warfare organization.

It’s unclear when the administration might formally announce the choice, but it’s believed the announcement could come in the next week or two, which means the Senate Armed Services Committee would hold a confirmation hearing Continue reading “Trump expected to tap Army cyber warfare chief to lead NSA”

Surveillance bill clears key hurdle amid confusion over Trump tweets

The House on Thursday passed a long-term extension of controversial online spying tools just hours after President Donald Trump sparked confusion with successive tweets that condemned, then supported the measure.

The bill, which passed by a 256-164 vote, would renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for six years, allowing the intelligence agencies to retain powers that libertarians and privacy advocates have spent years trying to rein in, but that national security leaders say are critical to the country’s fight against terrorism and crime.

The measure now heads to the Senate, where it has a good shot of passing, although at least two lawmakers have vowed to filibuster. The White House has said Trump will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.

Passage of the bill was in doubt until the final minutes. GOP leaders scrambled on Wednesday and into Thursday morning to gather the support Continue reading “Surveillance bill clears key hurdle amid confusion over Trump tweets”

Trump undercuts White House stance hours before critical surveillance vote

President Donald Trump on Thursday offered whiplash condemnation and then support for a White House-backed bill to renew controversial online surveillance efforts, sparking confusion just hours before the House is set to vote on the issue.

The remarks, which came via two early morning tweets, were made as Republican House leaders scrambled on Capitol Hill to secure the last-minute support needed to pass legislation to retain powerful overseas spying tools that national security leaders say are vital to the country’s fight against terrorism.

At 7:30 a.m., Trump first tweeted: "’House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.’ This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?" referring to the so-called Steele dossier, a compilation of alleged and unverified ties between Trump and Continue reading “Trump undercuts White House stance hours before critical surveillance vote”

Jones doesn’t think Trump should resign over harassment allegations

Alabama Sen.-elect Doug Jones broke with some members of his own Democratic Party on Sunday by refusing to call for President Donald Trump to step down over sexual harassment allegations.

“Those allegations were made before the election, and so people had an opportunity to judge before that election,” Jones said on CNN’s "State of the Union," referring to the 2016 presidential contest.

“We need to move on and not get distracted by those issues. Let’s get on with the real issues that are facing the people of this country right now," he added.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey and some other congressional Democrats have called for Trump to resign over allegations by at least 16 women that he engaged in sexual misconduct.

In last Tuesday’s special election in Alabama, Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior toward Continue reading “Jones doesn’t think Trump should resign over harassment allegations”

White House not talking about firing Mueller, top aide says

The White House legislative affairs director on Sunday shot down speculation that President Donald Trump is seriously weighing the idea of firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

"There’s no conversation about that in the White House whatsoever," Marc Short said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."

"You guys keep bringing that up," he added. "We’ve continued to cooperate in every single possible way in that investigation."

“Taxpayers have spent millions and millions of dollars on this investigation that has not yet proven any sense of collusion with the Russians,” Short said.

His remarks come a day after a lawyer for the Trump transition team accused Mueller of unlawfully obtaining tens of thousands of private emails from the General Services administration during its investigation.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb on Saturday declined comment about the transition team’s specific complaint, but insisted to POLITICO that Mueller isn’t about to be axed.

“As Continue reading “White House not talking about firing Mueller, top aide says”