A top White House cybersecurity official is leaving the National Security Council and returning to the National Security Agency, the latest in a string of departures from the White House national security team.
President Trump’s cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce is a detailee from the NSA and is returning to the agency rather than continuing in his post at the White House, according to a source familiar with the situation.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later confirmed the development, adding that Joyce has agreed to remain on “as needed to provide continuity and facilitate the transition with his replacement.”
“Rob Joyce, a career federal employee detailed to the National Security Council, has conveyed his intent to return to his home agency, the National Security Agency,” Sanders said in a statement. “We are all grateful for Rob’s continued service to the nation.”
Reuters was first to report Monday that Joyce would leave the White House.
News of Joyce’s expected departure comes as new national security adviser John Bolton is seeking to reshape his team. Joyce’s boss, Tom Bossert, resigned last week as White House homeland security adviser amid the reshuffle. Joyce was tapped to fill Bossert’s position in an acting capacity.
It was Bossert who, just over a year ago, announced that Joyce would join the council as cybersecurity coordinator. Joyce previously led an elite NSA hacking group called the Tailored Access Operations unit.
“Serving as the White House’s Cybersecurity Coordinator for the last 14 months has been a tremendous opportunity to work on some of our nation’s most important cyber challenges,” Joyce said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to serve our nation at the agency I’ve called home for the last 27 years.”
Joyce’s departure will leave a void in one of the top cybersecurity roles in the administration. Joyce was among top U.S. and British officials who earlier Monday blamed Russian-backed hackers for conducting cyberattacks on internet infrastructure across the globe in an apparent spy campaign targeting government, critical infrastructure and private businesses.
Updated at 5:18 p.m.