Trump Delays Cyber Order to Focus on Immigration Lawsuit

  • San Francisco challenges funds cutoff for ‘sanctuary cities’
  • City argues Trump order oversteps limits of federal power

Trump Says He Spent Less Than Democrats and Won

President Donald Trump delayed the planned signing of a directive on cybersecurity Tuesday afternoon as White House staff stepped up attention to legal challenges against his executive orders on immigration.

Administration discussions of a lawsuit San Francisco officials filed challenging a Trump order to withhold funds from so-called sanctuary cities complicated the president’s schedule on a busy day in which he also plans to announce his Supreme Court nominee, a White House aide said. Critics dubbed as sanctuary cities those municipalities that have adopted a policy of protecting undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws.

The aide, who requested anonymity to discuss the reason for the delay candidly, said the administration hasn’t determined when it can reschedule the cybersecurity-order signing.

The cybersecurity directive would hold government agency heads personally responsible for securing their departments’ computers against hackers as part of a plan to bolster defenses against cyber-attacks, according to a Trump aide who asked for anonymity to describe the order before its signing. Agencies also would be required to bring their information-technology security up to best-practice standards in the private sector, the aide said.

A slew of legal challenges to an order Trump issued Friday banning travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries provoked a showdown over the action’s legality between the White House and the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates. Trump dismissed Yates Monday evening for her refusal to enforce that order.

Seeking Input

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters earlier in the day that the cybersecurity order might be delayed as Trump sought input from advisers meeting Tuesday at the White House. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is leading that effort.

San Francisco on Tuesday became the first city to sue over the threatened cut of federal funding to sanctuary cities, arguing Trump’s executive order is a “severe invasion of San Francisco’s sovereignty."

The legal complaint the city filed in San Francisco federal court contends that the order violates immigrants’ rights and that the city is protected by the limits on federal power enshrined in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

“The executive branch may not commandeer state and local officials to enforce federal law," the city argues in the complaint.

Trump’s executive order barring entry to the U.S. for nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries -- Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen -- also has been targeted in suits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, which filed complaints on Saturday. By Monday, Washington became the first state to sue to halt the immigration order, with Massachusetts, New York and Virginia following on Tuesday.

— With assistance by Erik Larson, and Kartikay Mehrotra

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