WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned William Evanina during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence confirmation hearing on his nomination to continue his service as the Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).
During the hearing, Heinrich raised concerns with President Trump’s recent announcement to help China’s smartphone maker ZTE get back into business after the Commerce Department banned ZTE from using U.S. technology after it illegally shipped U.S. goods to Iran and North Korea.
Heinrich questioned Director Evanina on whether it makes sense for President Trump to undercut the advice and judgment of the national security community, which has warned that ZTE poses a major cybersecurity threat to the United States, in order to help save Chinese jobs.
Heinrich also questioned Director Evanina on protecting the U.S. power grid and other critical infrastructure from the large-scale Russian cyber campaign to extract information and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations. In response to Heinrich, Director Evanina stated that the cyber threat from Russia continues today and expressed the importance of working across agencies with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy.
Testimony and the archived webcast of Tuesday’s hearing will be available here.