Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will take on an advisory role in Donald Trump's administration regarding cybersecurity issues, the President-elect's transition team said Thursday.
"Rudy Giuliani will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector," Trump's transition team said in a statement.
"In addition, from time to time because of the changing nature of this problem, it is contemplated that the President-elect will be hosting a series of meetings with senior corporate executives from companies which have faced or are facing challenges similar to those facing the government and public entities today, such as hacking, intrusions, disruptions, manipulations, theft of data and identities, and securing information technology infrastructure," the statement read.
"No consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited," it added.
Giuliani, already an informal adviser to and surrogate for Trump, will not be given a title for the role.
The former New York mayor had been a consistent advocate and spokesperson for Trump throughout his campaign and had, in the days following the mogul's win, been expected to be rewarded with a cabinet or cabinet-level post inside the administration.
At various times, Giuliani appeared to be under consideration for either the secretary of state post, the director of national intelligence post and the Attorney General and head of Homeland Security jobs.
But in December he withdrew his name from consideration for any post.
A Wall Street Journal report later that month claimed that Trump passed on asking Giuliani, 72, to be his top diplomat because he lacked the stamina for the globe-trotting job.
|© Jeff Swensen/Getty Images Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.|
Rudy Giuliani Just Said Trump Is Trying To ‘Get Us Back To A Free Press’
Rudy Giuliani appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Thursday night and praised President-elect Donald Trump for his relationship with the press.
“It is refreshing and it is very good for our democracy that we have a president that is trying to get us back to a free press,” Giuliani said while discussing the president-elect’s handling of the media during his first news conference in 167 days.
Trump’s unorthodox relationship with the media is widely seen as a threat to journalism ethics and a free press.
During the Wednesday press briefing, Trump refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta and called the cable news network “fake news.” CNN had published a report Tuesday that said intelligence officials presented Trump and President Barack Obama with claims that Russian operatives had compromising information about the president-elect. Trump also called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage” for publishing the 35-page document of unverified claims.
Giuliani has been one of Trump’s top surrogates throughout the president-elect’s campaign and transition into office. Speculation had the former New York City mayor on a shortlist for Trump’s top Cabinet positions, but he says he turned down two offers for top posts because he “didn’t want to do it.”
On Thursday, Trump announced that Giuliani would advise the president-elect’s incoming administration on cybersecurity issues, a role the New York Times said represented a “diminished place in Trump world.”
Rudy Giuliani to advise Trump on cyber security
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will serve as a cyber-security advisor to President-elect Donald Trump once he takes office, the Trump transition team announced Thursday.
Giuliani, who currently runs his own security consulting firm, will serve as a liaison between the Trump administration and private companies who are working to combat against cyber-security threats. Trump's announcement didn't specify a title for Giuliani, saying only that the former mayor will be "sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems."
The announcement did, however, hint at some of the threats Trump wants to address, including "hacking, intrusions, disruptions, manipulations, theft of data and identities, and securing information technology infrastructure."
Trump takes office as both private citizens and US companies have fallen victim to threats that were virtually unknown just a few years ago. Throughout 2016, multiple high-profile ransomware attacks targeted hospitals and other institutions, which often paid ransoms of tens of thousands of dollars each instead of pursuing even more costly data recovery methods.
The explosive growth in devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) has also contributed to threats, including a distributed denial of service attack using infected baby cameras and other IoT devices last fall that took large portions of the US Internet infrastructure offline.
Even as large corporations hire consulting firms like Giuliani's to fight back, experts have warned that lax security practices—especially among IoT device manufacturers—make them too easy to hack.
Giuliani's ability to affect change in his new position is unclear, especially given Trump's general skepticism about the Internet and computers. Giuliani tends to take the opposite view. He sees cyber attacks as a key roadblock to technological advances that can have a positive societal impact, especially when it comes to healthcare.
"Our lack of securing these things is holding back a tremendously important advance that would be a great way to reduce healthcare costs," he told PCMag in 2012. "There is a tremendous societal cost and it comes about because we haven't developed security for the Internet—the cloud—the way we should."