Mulvaney deputy tapped for White House tech post
A deputy to acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyRepublican group to run ads in target states demanding testimony from White House officials in Trump impeachment trial Mulvaney deputy tapped for White House tech post Schumer demands sensitive documents for impeachment trial MORE has been appointed as the special representative for international telecommunications policy.
Robert Blair will be tasked with coordinating American efforts to secure global communications infrastructure in that role, according to the White House, which made the announcement on Monday.
A large part of that effort will likely be related to the administration’s efforts in the arena of fifth-generation wireless networks, or 5G. The Trump administration and security experts have prioritized the transition to 5G networks, warning of the potential for national security threats if it is not managed correctly.
The next-generation networks would allow for an increasing amount of internet-connected devices, many of which may not be secured against cyberattacks.
The administration has expressed particular concern about Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s presence in the developing technology, urging allies abroad to give contracts to other companies.
Huawei was added to a blacklist by the Trump administration earlier this year over national security concerns related to the company’s close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Blair will support White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE on 5G issues, according to the White House. He will stay on as Mulvaney’s deputy and as assistant to the president despite the new position.
Blair’s name has been in the news recently because of his involvement in the phone call between President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer pro golfer advanced business interests of indicted Giuliani associates: report Republican group to run ads in target states demanding testimony from White House officials in Trump impeachment trial Mulvaney deputy tapped for White House tech post MORE and Ukraine’s leader that led to the president’s impeachment by House Democrats.
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Blair was one of a small group of officials on the line when Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer pro golfer advanced business interests of indicted Giuliani associates: report Biden maintains national lead after December debate: poll Yang, Klobuchar, Steyer see increase in favorability after debate: poll MORE and his son Hunter Biden.
Blair was subpoenaed by Democrats to testify in the impeachment inquiry but did not comply with the subpoena on instructions from the White House.