Trump to nominate Army cyber chief to lead NSA, official says

By Morgan Chalfant - 02/13/18 05:56 PM EST

President Trump will nominate Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone to serve as the next 
leader of the National Security Agency, an administration official said 

“Congratulations to Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, nominated as Director NSA & 
Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, a [position] that will earn him his 4th star!” 
Rob Joyce, a former NSA official who is serving as White House cyber  
coordinator, wrote on Twitter. 

“An exceptional leader for two exceptional [organizations], he brings great 
experience and strong cyber background,” Joyce wrote.

Nakasone, who currently leads the Army Cyber Command, will replace outgoing NSA 
Director Adm. Mike Rogers, who is expected to soon retire from his post. 
Nakasone will also helm U.S. Cyber Command in the dual-hat role.

The White House has not yet sent out an official advisory on his nomination. A 
spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Nakasone has widely been rumored as a top choice for the role since news first 
broke that Rogers was expected to leave his post earlier this year. Politico 
reported last month that Trump was expected to choose Nakasone for the position.

Nakasone will assume the role at a key moment for both the NSA and Cyber 
Command, the U.S. military’s offensive cyber unit. The clandestine spy agency 
has faced turmoil in recent years as a result of intelligence leaks and the 
loss of top-secret hacking tools.

Meanwhile, Cyber Command will see its authorities grow in the coming year, 
after Trump moved to elevate it into a full combatant command last year. 

The Pentagon is current mulling whether and how to split NSA and Cyber Command, 
which will result in each having a different leader. The split is widely viewed 
as inevitable, though former officials and some lawmakers have warned it could 
have potentially negative consequences if done too swiftly.

Rogers has helmed the NSA since 2014, and has presided over reorganization at 
the agency that has been unpopular among some officials. He delivered what is 
could to be his last public congressional testimony on Tuesday, appearing 
before the Senate Intelligence Committee for an annual hearing on worldwide 

“This will be Admiral Rogers's last visit before this committee on the threat 
assessment issue. He deeply regrets not having to come before you in the future 
years as he's enjoyed this process very much,” Director of National 
Intelligence Dan Coats quipped during opening remarks.
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