Exactly 90 days ago, Donald Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States. That means Thursday marks his administration's whiff on a major self-imposed deadline — one to assemble a team that would, within 90 days, assess claims of Russian interference in the presidential election and examine American cybersecurity. Trump made the promise repeatedly: "My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!" he tweeted Jan. 13.
The Intercept tried to check in last week to see how that was coming along:
Reached by phone, Senior Assistant White House Press Secretary Michael Short said, "I'm in the parking lot, I don't have an update" on the promised report. Asked when he might be able to provide an update, Short repeated, "I'm in the parking lot." Then he said "I've got to run" and hung up. [The Intercept]
Politico also had no luck:
The National Security Council would normally be involved in creating such a report. But on Wednesday, a NSC spokesperson told Politico that he was unaware if the NSC was in charge of compiling it, or if that responsibility fell to [Rudy Giuliani, who was tasked by Trump to build partnerships on cybersecurity with the private sector] — or if the report exists.
Giuliani is continuing his work talking to the private sector, but a spokesperson for the former New York City mayor confirmed that he is not involved in any 90-day report.
The White House spokesperson wouldn't directly address why the deadline was missed. [Politico]
Missing the cybersecurity deadline is of particular concern to critics, including Ned Price, who was a spokesman for the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama. Missing the deadline shows "a lackadaisical approach to what intelligence officials have routinely said is our biggest national security threat," Price told Politico. "It speaks to the level of priority that this administration apparently has attached to cybersecurity, which apparently isn't much."