At Donald Trump’s first press conference since winning the election, he promised a report on “cyber defense” in the next 90 days.
Spencer Platt, Getty Images
First he blasted the US government for having “the worst” cybersecurity. Then President-elect Donald Trump vowed to do something about it.
In his first press conference since July, when he suggested that Russia should try to uncover Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, Trump promised a “major report on hacking defense” within the next 90 days.
He’s given that mission to Rep. Mike Pompeo and Sen. Dan Coats, his picks for CIA director and National Intelligence director, respectively. Trump said the report would cover Russian hacking during the US presidential election, along with US cybersecurity flaws generally.
“How do we stop this fairly new phenomenon? Because the US is hacked by everybody,” Trump said during his press conference Wednesday. “That includes Russia and China and … everybody.”
On Friday, US intelligence agencies said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an “unprecedented” hacking attacks and propaganda campaigns leading up to the 2016 elections.
The president-elect did not offer any specifics on how he’ll tackle the vulnerabilities, but he had harsh words for those who have been in charge.
Trump described the US government’s cybersecurity as “the worst,” pointing to an analysis from April putting the government’s tech protection at the bottom of the list among 17 industries.
The former “Apprentice” reality TV star referenced the
Office of Personnel Management hack
, in which Chinese hackers stole sensitive information belonging to nearly 22 million Americans.
He said the nation’s cybersecurity was “run by people who don’t know what they’re doing.”
Trump suggested he would be relying on the titans of the US tech industry. He brought up the tech summit hosted at Trump Tower in December, which was attended by the “six top [tech] people in the world,” who were “never in the same room together.” (Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt have been together at the White House before.)
“We have much hacking going on,” Trump said. “We’re going put those minds together and we’re going to form a defense.”
Trump has finally turned around on the US intelligence report accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering the hacks during the election, telling reporters Wednesday he now believes Russia was behind the cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee.
But he also took pride in the Republican National Committee‘s cybersecurity, hoping to get some credit for the web safeguards during the GOP’s national convention in Cleveland.
“They tried to hack the Republican National Committee and they were unable to break through,” Trump said. “We have to do that for our country.”