The responsibility for defending the country against cyber attacks is divided among different parts of the government. The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting civilian agencies and advising states, businesses, and public services. The FBI is investigating cyber attacks.
The NSA, which by law can only operate abroad, penetrates deep into foreign networks but is also responsible for securing national security systems, such as communications with the nuclear arsenal. Cyber Command is a military operation responsible for offensive military activities and the defense of military services against cyber attacks.
Last month, Mr Trump fired Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, for saying the presidential election was one of the best in history the United States. On CNN Sunday, Krebs said he had no idea about the Russian attack and that the American sensors were not designed to detect this type of intrusion in the supply chain.
All of this seems to raise questions that Mr. Trump would like to address last month. Instead, on Saturday, he blurred intelligence’s conclusion that the Russians were at the center of the hack, suggesting it could have been China.
A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said no decision had been made and Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller, and his senior staff were reviewing the proposal. The official said the Cyber Command proposal was part of a larger review of several portfolios of defense organizations that Miller was quick to complete before Mr. Trump stepped down.
The official said the Pentagon was not acting under pressure from the White House.
Representing Adam Smith, Washington Democrat and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, letters sent to Mr. Miller and General Milley who opposed the proposal and warned that such unilateral action was “not only inadvisable, but against the law”.
A spokesman for General Milley, Colonel Dave Butler, said on Saturday: “The president has neither considered nor approved any such proposal.