What the hack?
President Trump on Sunday said he talked with Russian President Vladimir Putin about forming “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” to stop election hacking — even though it’s Russia that is suspected of meddling with the 2016 campaign in the first place.
In a series of tweets following the G20 Summit, Trump kept heaping blame on Democrats for getting hacked in last year’s election, but he gave a free pass to Putin.
“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion…..” Trump wrote in one tweet.
He said now is the time to “move forward in working constructively with Russia” — specifically on cyber hacking, of all things.
“Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded…..and safe. Questions were asked about why the CIA & FBI had to ask the DNC 13 times for their SERVER, and were rejected, still don’t…….have it. Fake News said 17 intel agencies when actually 4 (had to apologize). Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?” Trump wrote over three tweets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Trump on Friday.
These are Trump’s most extensive comments yet about his much-anticipated meeting with Putin at G20, and they show his stubborn stance on the election hacking wasn’t influenced by the talk at all.
The announcement drew immediate confusion and criticism.
“Partnering with Putin on a ‘Cyber Security Unit’ is akin to partnering with Assad on a ‘Chemical Weapons Unit,'” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who competed with Trump for the GOP nomination, tweeted.
“We have no quarrel with Russia or the Russian people. Problem is with Putin & his oppression, war crimes & interference in our elections,” he added.
Trump has refused to support the conclusion from at least four U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 race, with the apparent aim of giving a Trump a boost over Democratic contender Hillary Clinton. A day before meeting Putin, Trump said in Poland he thought Russia hacked the campaign but that “other countries” might have, too. He has never offered any evidence of this.