US President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to protect government computer networks and hold agency heads accountable on cybersecurity, amid allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election to influence its outcome.
The President also blamed the Democratic party for its failure to defend against alleged Russian government-backed hacking ahead of the crucial elections that brought him to power.
“We must defend and protect federal networks and data. We operate these networks on behalf of the American people and they are very important and very sacred,” Trump said at a meeting with cybersecurity experts.
“I will hold my cabinet secretaries and agency heads accountable, totally accountable for the cybersecurity of their organisation, of which we probably don’t have as much. Certainly not as much as we should have,” Trump said.
The President’s push on cyber security follows allegations that Russian government “successfully” hacked the computers of Democratic party to influence the November presidential elections.
Trump, however, has sought to downplay the influence of hacking on the outcome of elections that saw an outsider real estate tycoon defeat former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Blaming the Democratic party for its inability to protect against hacking, Trump said: “Despite having spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars more money than we did, the Democratic National Committee was hacked successfully, very successfully, and terribly.
“And the Republican National Committee was not hacked. Meaning they tried, but failed.”
“We had a very strong defence system against hacking. So despite spending a lot less money than the Democrats and in all fairness, winning. People don’t say that. We spent a lot less money, admiral, and we won,” he said.
Trump said he will empower security agencies to modernise their IT systems for better security and other reasons.
“We will protect our critical infrastructure such as power plants and electrical grids. The electrical grid is a problem. So we’ll have it solved relatively soon,” he said.
Trump said his administration will make sure that cybersecurity is central to both its military and the ships, planes and tanks built by “great Americans” for “great American military”.
“And our military will become stronger and stronger as we go along,” he said.