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White House cybersecurity coordinator position eliminated

Last Updated May 16, 2018 11:34 AM EDT

The White House has eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator, a National Security Council official confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. The position was left open when Rob Joyce, President Trump's first coordinator, announced last month he was leaving the White House to return to the National Security Agency.

"Today's actions continue an effort to empower National Security Council senior directors," council spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement, according to Reuters. "Streamlining management will improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability."

When Joyce first announced his departure last month, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Joyce would "stay on as needed to provide continuity and facilitate the transition with his replacement." 

The news was first reported by Politico. According to Reuters, the White House has seen a raft of departures since National Security Adviser John Bolton began his new role in April.  

Former Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, Jocye's boss, oversaw the cybersecurity program and was pushed out of the White House on Bolton's second day on the job.

Detractors say the role was important symbolically, though, and perhaps structurally as well -- Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said the coordinator was "the only person in the federal government tasked with delivering a coordinated, whole-of-government response to the growing cyber threats facing our nation," CNET reports

The position was created by President Obama in 2009.

Also on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled a strategy to guide a response to cybersecurity threats. According to a statement, "the intent is for this strategy to enable the harmonization and prioritization of DHS planning, programming, budgeting, and operational activities across all DHS cybersecurity mission areas. It will focus on coordinating departmental cybersecurity activities to ensure a unity of effort."

"The cyber threat landscape is shifting in real-time, and we have reached a historic turning point," DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement. "Digital security is now converging with personal and physical security, and it is clear that our cyber adversaries can now threaten the very fabric of our republic itself."