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World

REUTERS
December 28, 2016
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Trump taps ex-Bush official Bossert for counterterrorism post

Trump taps ex-Bush official Bossert for counterterrorism post

PALM BEACH, FLA: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump filled another post in his national security team on Tuesday, selecting former Bush administration official Thomas Bossert as the chief counterterrorism adviser in the White House.

Bossert is slated to focus on domestic security issues, while Trump's pick for national security adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, will handle international security matters, according to a statement.

Trump's transition team said his administration would "elevate" Bossert's role as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism back to its "independent status" alongside Flynn. But, the statement offered few details on what that would mean in practice.

Republican President George W. Bush set up a Homeland Security Council in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington. The council was led by the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

Bossert served as deputy homeland security adviser under Bush.

Shortly after taking office in 2009, Democratic President Barack Obama merged the Homeland Security Council staff with the National Security Council staff.

In his new role, Bossert will also work on crafting the Trump administration's policies on cyber security.

"We must work toward cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law ... and the fundamental principles of liberty," Bossert said in a statement.

Cyber security has been a hot button issue in recent weeks as Trump, a Republican, has lashed out against assertions that Russia directed hacks of U.S. Democratic Party emails in an attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the hacks.

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