Indiana’s Sec. of State ‘shocked’ by Trump’s Russia-aided cybersecurity unit idea

INDIANAPOLIS – As she gets ready to head to Washington D.C., the Indiana secretary of state is shocked by President Donald Trump’s latest suggestion to create a “cyber security unit” with Russia to guard against election hacking.

Over the weekend, President Trump made the partnership suggestion, but has since backed off on the idea. The issue was discussed as several secretaries of states took part in a meeting in Indianapolis over the weekend.

FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2015 file photo, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson speaks in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

“I’m shocked,” Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said. “I don’t understand the statement. I will just tell you that my focus is going to be increasing the American confidence in the elections.”

The National Association of Secretaries of State also addressed the president’s upcoming election commission. A task force started after President Trump criticized the 2016 election.

That scrutiny was front and center Monday during the final day of the association meeting. Members unanimously passed a resolution to remind D.C. elections are under state control.

“Our responsibility to oversee the integrity of that process is being scrutinized,” Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray said.

Lawson is working to build trust. She was sworn-in as the association’s president.

Soon, she’ll take her new leadership to the president’s election commission. “I have promised each of these secretaries in our meetings that my conduct at the commission will be a conduct that will represent all of us to the best of my ability,” Lawson said.

While there is unease about certain things the president commission will address, secretaries are open to improvement. They’re hopeful advice and direction can come from the commission to improve elections. Lawson and other commission members will meet July 19th.