O'Brien cuts short Europe trip to address agency hacking

O’Brien will hold National Security Council meetings with his cybersecurity team in the coming days, as well as a likely NSC principals committee meeting in the next few days. The NSC had an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the attack.

The NSC announced on Tuesday that it had established a Cyber Unified Coordination Group to “ensure continued unity of effort” as the government responds to what it calls “a significant cyber incident.”

O’Brien, who had traveled to Europe to meet with foreign government officials on national security issues, attracted scrutiny for bringing his wife on the trip during a surge in Covid cases.

O’Brien was originally scheduled to be in Europe until Saturday, but he decided to return early given the scale of the breach, according to the official. He’s skipping meetings with U.K. government officials in London as well as a swing through Rome.

He met with Israeli Prime Minister on Sunday in Israel and also spoke in-person at the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development convention, even though the event was mostly virtual.

Trump, who has been loath to criticize Russia during his presidency, has not weighed in to criticize the cyberattack yet. The Russian government denies responsibility.

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