President elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday that Tom Bossert, former national security aide to President George W. Bush, will join the Trump administration as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. That role will be expanded under the Trump administration, according to a news release announcing the appointment, to give Bossert an “independent status alongside the National Security Advisor.”
Bossert, who served as Bush’s Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, is currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, “has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity challenges,” Trump said in a statement adding that “he will be an invaluable asset to our Administration.”
Bossert will focus on protecting the country from counterterrorism threats while retired Gen. Michael Flynn, the incoming National Security Advisor, will focus on “international security challenges.”
“Tom brings enormous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to protecting the homeland to our senior White House team,” Trump said in the statement.
The elevation of Bossert gives the Trump national security staff more executive branch experience. While Flynn has no White House experience, incoming-deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland has worked in three administrations.
The two men met at Trump’s Florida estate last week as Trump continues to fill out his staff. While the administration began rolling out Cabinet picks in the early portion of the transition, most of the more recent appointments have been Trump’s White House staff.
Bossert highlighted cybersecurity as a priority in his new job, saying in a statement that the U.S. “must work toward [a] cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law, honoring the rights of personal property, the benefits of free and fair trade, and the fundamental principles of liberty.”
The Trump transition team said that Bossert’s post of assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, formerly filled by a deputy to the national security adviser, will be “elevated and restored to its independent status.”
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