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WH Print Pool 6
Herb Jackson • The Record
January 31, 2017: 02:56 PM

Pool let into Roosevelt Room shortly after 2 pm for listening session on cyber security

Along with administration officials around the table, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani sat opposite POTUS at center. Place for Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., was next to Giuliani. Coats is nominee for director of national intelligence.

Seats at table end are chief of staff Reince Priebus and strategist Steve Bannon.

POTUS entered at 221, and began by describing elements of executive order previously that a White House official previously briefed pool about, but also talked about hacking of the DNC during the election.

"I will hold my cabinet secretaries and agency heads accountable, totally accountable for the cyber security of their organizations which we probably don't have as much, certainly not as much as we need.

"We must protect federal networks and data. We operate these networks on behalf of the American people and they are very important.

"We will empower these agencies to modernize their IT systems for better security and other uses.

"We will protect our critical infrastructure such as power plants and electrical grids. The electrical grid problem is a problem but we'll have it solved relatively soon.

"We must work with the private sector, the private sector is way ahead of government in this case, to make sure that owners and operators of critical infrastructure have the support they need from the federal government to defend against cyber threats."

"Now I think a pretty good example of this is despite how they spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars more money than we did, the Democratic National Committee was hacked successfully, very successfully, and terribly successfully. And the Republican National Committee was not hacked. Meaning it was hacked, but they failed. It was reported, I believe, by Reince and other people that it was hacked, but we had a very strong defense system against hacking."

POTUS then thanked Giuliani for being involved with adviser Jared Kushner and homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Tom Bosert.

Giuliani began remarks by praising how much POTUS had gotten done in the first few days of his administration. On cyber he said he would work with parts of the private sector that POTUS identified, including power companies, financial sector and hospitals.

Giuliani said: "A large part of our country unlike other countries is made up of the private sector. And the private sector is wide open to hacking, and sometimes by hacking the private sector, you get into government. So we can't do this separately. And you were wise enough that we should have a council where we could bring in the private sector, they can explain to you the problems they have, they can explain to the administration the solutions they have, which in some cases may be better than the government's and in some cases they will not be as good as the government's. Plus we can search around the world, including countries like Israel and places where they're doing a lot of advance cyber security analysis. We can look for long term solutions."

"By speaking out on this an holding regular meetings on it and using the bully pulpit, the presidency, you get the private sector to wake up. Some of the private sector have to wake up to the fact that they have to do more."

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