Trump backs off on cyber unit with Russia after harsh criticism
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday backtracked on his push for a cyber-security unit with Russia, tweeting that he did not think it could happen, hours after his proposal was severely criticized by Republicans who said Moscow couldn’t be trusted. Trump said on Twitter early on Sunday that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday forming “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” to address issues like the risk of cyber meddling in elections. The idea appeared to be a political non-starter. It was directly reviled by several of Trump’s colleague Republicans, who interrogated why the US would work with Russia after Moscow’s so-called interfering in the 2016 United States election.
“It’s not the dumbest idea I have ever heard but it’s pretty close,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Ash Carter, who was United States. Secretary of Defense until the end of former Democratic President Obama’s government in January, 2017 told CNN entirely “This is like the guy who attacked your house proposing a working group on robbery.”
Trump’s advisers, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had recently required to explain Trump’s cyber push. Mnuchin said on Saturday that Putin and Trump had accepted to form “a cyber-unit to make sure that there was totally no intervention whatsoever, that they would work on cyber-security together.” But Trump returned to twitter on Sunday to play down the idea, which arose at his talks with Putin at a summit of the Group of 20 nations in Hamburg, Germany. “The fact that I and President Putin debated a Cyber Security unit does not mean I think it can occur. It can’t,” Trump said on Twitter.