Seven members of Donald Trump’s cybersecurity team, including an Indian-origin data scientist, have resigned, accusing the US president of ignoring the pressing national security matters.
In a group resignation letter, the members of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), whose purview includes national cybersecurity, cited both specific shortfalls in the administration’s approach to cybersecurity, and broader concerns that have undermined the “moral infrastructure” of the US, Fortune reported.
“You have given insufficient attention to the growing threats to the cybersecurity of the critical systems upon which all Americans depend, including those impacting the systems supporting our democratic election process,” the letter reads.
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They also cited his failure “to denounce intolerance and violence of hate groups” when asked about the “horrific violences in Charlottesville” as one of the reasons why they left.
Unite the Right march was organised on August 12 to protest against the proposed removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee, who commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Violence broke out after they were confronted by anti-racism groups and later a car ploughed into one group of anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville.
Trump had blamed both sides including the “alt-left” for the deadly violence.
The members, who were appointed under the previous administration, resigned just before the panel was supposed to hold its quarterly business meeting.
They include Obama-era officials: the first ever White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil, Office of Science and Technology Policy Chief of Staff Cristin Dorgelo and White House Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss.
The president recently lost two other panels before the NIAC members resigned. His administration dissolved the Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum, but not before a good number of their members already left.