Duty 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, firms and utilities. The F.B.I. investigates cyberattacks.
The N.S.A., which by legislation can function solely abroad, goes deep into overseas networks however can also be accountable for securing nationwide safety programs, like communications with the nuclear arsenal. Cyber Command is a navy operation accountable for offensive navy exercise and defending navy providers 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 best 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 type of supply-chain intrusion.
All of that would appear to boost questions that Mr. Trump would need to tackle in his final month. As a substitute, on Saturday he muddied the intelligence conclusion that the Russians have 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 selections had been made and that the performing protection secretary, Christopher C. Miller, and his high aides have been reviewing the proposal. The official mentioned the Cyber Command proposal was a part of a broader assessment 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 performing beneath strain from the White Home.
Consultant Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington and the chairman of the Home Armed Providers Committee, despatched letters to Mr. Miller and Normal Milley opposing the proposal and warning that any such unilateral motion was “not solely inadvisable, however is opposite to legislation.”
A spokesman for Normal Milley, Col. Dave Butler, mentioned on Saturday, “The chairman has not reviewed nor endorsed any proposal of this type.”