Top US cyber official to leave amid unfilled positions in Trump administration

The US State Department’s top cyber official is preparing to leave his job at the end of this month as many positions still remain unfilled in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Appointed to the top position by former President Barack Obama, Chris Painter is set to leave the department by the end of July, according to a Politico report, confirmed by the State Monday afternoon.

Politico released the story exclusively to its “Pro Cybersecurity” subscribers, yet a US official told The Hill in an email that “After six and a half years of exceptional service, Coordinator Painter’s extended detail comes to an end at the end of July… The State Department will continue to address and prioritize these important cyber issues.”

Being at the helm of cyber security, Painter attended an annual conference in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv last month, bringing about a new bilateral cyber security working group between Washington and Tel Aviv.

Painter has also launched government-to-government “cyber dialogues” with other countries allegedly to help reduce cyber threats and crime.

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(From L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara attend a ceremony in East Jerusalem a-Quds on May 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

At least two former directors of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, among other Israeli officials, have attacked US President Donald Trump for his alleged sharing of highly classified, Israeli-obtained “intelligence” with Russia.

President Trump was temporarily surrounded by controversy recently over allegations that he divulged secret information with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House.

The sharing occurred although the provider had not given the “permission” to the US to do so.

Hailed as a “great friend to the Jewish people” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump has mended ties with Israel, which had gone sour under Obama.

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