Trump backs off cybersecurity unit with Russia

In this photo provided by German government U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the first working session of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Steffen Kugler/Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung via AP)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump appears to be backing away from the idea of working with Russia to create a “cyber security unit” to guard against election hacking.

Trump tweeted Sunday morning about discussing such a unit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yet it’s Russia that U.S. intelligence officials blame for meddling in last year’s election.

Widespread ridicule greeted Trump’s tweet. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina calls it “pretty close” to the dumbest idea he’s ever heard. A Democratic congressman, Adam Schiff of California, says expecting Russia to be a credible partner in any cybersecurity initiative “would be dangerously naive.”

By Sunday evening, Trump was tweeting a different tune. He wrote that just because he and Putin discussed the idea “doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t.”

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