and John Wagner The United States will remain a trustworthy international partner, administration national security aides said Sunday, offering reassurances after allies and members of Congress criticized President Trump for deciding to alter terms for participation in the international nuclear deal with Iran. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others dismissed questions about whether the United States is sending a message to North Korea, for example, that undermines any deal that nation might contemplate over its own nuclear program. “I think what North Korea should take away from this decision is that the United States will expect a very demanding agreement with North Korea, one that is very binding and achieves the objectives, not just of the United States but the policy objectives of China and other neighbors,” Tillerson said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” That shared goal, he said, is to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear … [Read more...] about Trump national security aides insist U.S. word is still good after Iran deal put on notice
In the first national election of the Trump era, more than a half-dozen Obama administration national security officials are running for Congress, which could result in the largest influx of foreign-policy-minded Democrats to Capitol Hill in years. But all of them face the challenge of moving from the world of policy to politics and translating their Washington résumés into arguments that appeal to locally focused voters. Officials from President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, State Department and Defense Department have returned home to run for Congress in 2018. Each has a different story, constituency and task at hand. But they all have come to the conclusion that, after long careers in government bureaucracies, their best chance to serve meaningfully is to enter the political fray. But can they convince voters that their foreign policy experience qualifies them to fight on behalf of local issues? That careers in Washington give them the credibility and … [Read more...] about Can these Obama-era national security officials win in Congress?
President Donald Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, has reportedly concluded that his predecessor, Susan Rice, did nothing wrong when she tried to learn the identities of officials on Trump's transition team who were mentioned in US intelligence reports last year.That is according to Bloomberg View's Eli Lake, who first broke the story in early April that Rice, who served under President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017, tried to "unmask" Trump associates mentioned by foreign officials in conversations picked up as part of the US' intelligence-gathering operations.RELATED: Former Obama adviser Susan Rice Almost one month after Lake broke that story, McMaster appears to have sent a letter to Rice informing her that she could maintain her security clearance, according to the conservative news outlet Circa, which obtained a copy of the letter.McMaster added that he would "waive the requirement that you … [Read more...] about Trump’s national security adviser will reportedly let Obama official keep security clearance
Apple saw a spike in government requests for data relating to national security in the second half of 2016, according to a report released by the technology giant. In the six months ended December 2016, the Cupertino-based firm received 5,999 government requests. This was up from the 2,999 it got in the first half of 2016. Such requests are orders received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or requested in a National Security Letter (NSL). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or National Security Agency (NSA) could request such data from Apple. Apple said that the requests had affected 4,999 accounts. It also revealed the presence of a declassified NSL. These letters are usually classified and do not allow the company to disclose the contents even to the customer concerned. But under recently … [Read more...] about Apple sees a spike in government requests for data relating to national security
After Chinese hackers tore Google a new cyberhole in December, the tech titan reportedly looked to an unlikely source for help: the ultra-secretive National Security Agency, better known for tapping phones than patching security holes for private companies. The connection has raised the antennae of Internet privacy experts, who now are warning of the possible risks posed by the close and as-yet undefined ties between the world's top cybersurveillance agency and a corporate behemoth that has amassed more sensitive data about its users than most personal diaries. "We're very concerned about what information Google is sharing with the NSA," said Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel with the Center for Democracy and Technology. Nojeim is part of a chorus of watchdogs barking at Google to open up about the … [Read more...] about Googles Reported Link to National Security Agency Alarms Privacy Watchdogs
Fiona Hill, a Russia expert and frequent critic of President Vladimir Putin, will join the White House National Security Council Monday as senior director for Europe and Russia, officials said Tuesday. Hill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former Russia expert on the National Intelligence Council, was first recruited for the NSC job under President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was forced to resign after barely three weeks in office after the White House said he had misled Vice President Pence about contacts he had with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s U.S. ambassador, before Trump’s inauguration. Russian efforts to influence the U.S. election, and contacts between Flynn and other Trump associates and Russian operatives during the campaign have since become the subject of FBI and congressional investigations. Flynn’s departure and upheaval over the Russia contacts left Hill’s appointment in limbo for a time. … [Read more...] about Trump adds Russia scholar as National Security Council director
Even when the United States is under attack by a foreign power, our nation’s elected leaders are so obsessed with gaining political advantage that protecting our country becomes a secondary priority. That was the obvious on Monday when Republican congressmen on the House Intelligence Committee seemed more interested in putting newspaper reporters in prison than uncovering evidence that Russia undermined the 2016 presidential election. OPINION Follow @csteditorials FBI director James Comey and National Security Agency director Admiral Michael Rogers Richards eventually would make it clear that Russia engaged in a campaign to influence the election outcome and that its president, Vladimir Putin, hated Hillary Clinton. Yet, over and over again, Republican congressmen such as Trey Gowdy of South Carolina pressed Comey to track down those who leaked information to newspaper reporters that key people in the Trump camp were talking with Russians during the presidential election. … [Read more...] about When partisan politics trumps national security
America's hacker in chief says his cyber troops are giving as good as they are getting in battles on the internet and he's not worried about perceived conflicts between the Trump administration and the intelligence community. Adm. Michael Rogers, who heads the National Security Agency and the military's Cyber Command, gave few details on America's offensive cyber attacks in remarks to an Air Force Academy crowd last week. But merely acknowledging that American troops are engaged in a battle is rare for a government entity so tight-lipped that NSA has been said to stand for "No Such Agency." Rogers told cadets that cyber operations are growing in importance and could be decisive in future conflicts. But it's more than defending American networks from foreign intrusions. "You get to work the total range of offense and defense," he said. He compared the emerging environment of cyberspace to the Cold War era when America stood equally challenged. Today, the nation faces well-armed … [Read more...] about National Security Agency chief gives AFA cadets cyber warfare recruiting pitch
With Breanne Deppisch THE BIG IDEA: When you don't tell the truth about little things, you cannot be trusted to tell the truth about big things. As a candidate, Donald Trump attacked Barack Obama dozens of times for playing too much golf. "I'm going to be working for you," Trump told supporters at a rally last year. "I'm not going to have time to go play golf." Since taking office four weeks ago, Trump has made six trips to the golf course. Sensitive to charges of hypocrisy on this issue, the White House has maneuvered to minimize coverage of these outings and to downplay how much time the president spends on the links. A White House spokeswoman told multiple reporters on Sunday that Trump had played just "a couple of holes." Then his partner, Rory McIlroy, told a golfing publication that they'd done a full round of 18. And there were pictures. The spokeswoman then acknowledged that she had misinformed the press corps. Trump, she said, had "intended" to golf just a couple of holes. -- … [Read more...] about The Daily 202: Trump’s new national security adviser literally wrote the book on Vietnam
An executive order signed Saturday by President Donald Trump is drawing sharp criticism and outright alarm from some sectors on Monday. Trump on Saturday re-ordered the makeup of the National Security Council meetings by moving his top military and intelligence chiefs out of some meetings and adding Steve Bannon, the president’s top political adviser, to the meetings. Bannon, who was a controversial pick as a Trump’s adviser, will be have a seat on the “principals committee” meetings for the NSC in place of director of national intelligence Dan Coats and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. Who is Bannon, what does the National Security Council do and how big a deal is the order? Here’s a look at the man who will be in on the most secure discussions of national security matters. Shortly after his election on Nov. 8, Trump named former Breitbart News executive chairman Bannon to be his “chief strategist and senior … [Read more...] about Who is Steve Bannon and what is the National Security Council?