Accountability for defending the nation from cyberattacks is unfold throughout totally different elements of the federal government. The Division of Homeland Safety is accountable for defending civilian companies and advises states, corporations and utilities. The F.B.I. investigates cyberattacks.
The N.S.A., which by legislation can function solely abroad, goes deep into international networks however can also be accountable for securing nationwide safety programs, like communications with the nuclear arsenal. Cyber Command is a army operation accountable for offensive army exercise and defending army companies from cyberattacks.
Final month, Mr. Trump dismissed Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company, a part of the Homeland Safety Division, for declaring that the presidential election had been among the finest run in United States historical past. On CNN on Sunday, Mr. Krebs mentioned that he had no inkling of the Russian assault and that American sensors had not been devised to detect this sort of supply-chain intrusion.
All of that would appear to boost questions that Mr. Trump would wish to tackle in his final month. As an alternative, on Saturday he muddied the intelligence conclusion that the Russians had been on the heart of the hack, suggesting that it may have been China.
A senior administration official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate inner deliberations, mentioned that no choices had been made and that the appearing protection secretary, Christopher C. Miller, and his high aides had been reviewing the proposal. The official mentioned the Cyber Command proposal was a part of a broader evaluate of a number of protection group portfolios that Mr. Miller was dashing to finish earlier than Mr. Trump leaves workplace.
The official mentioned the Pentagon was not appearing beneath strain from the White Home.
Consultant Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington and the chairman of the Home Armed Companies Committee, despatched letters to Mr. Miller and Common Milley opposing the proposal and warning that any such unilateral motion was “not solely inadvisable, however is opposite to legislation.”
A spokesman for Common Milley, Col. Dave Butler, mentioned on Saturday, “The chairman has not reviewed nor endorsed any proposal of this type.”