Trump’s Joint Cybersecurity Unit With Russia – It’s Not Happening

Donald Trump initially claimed victory after his trip to Europe, describing a new era of co-operation with Russia and outlining plans for a joint cyber-security unit to protect against election hacking.

He has has now backtracked on a proposal to work with Russia to create an "impenetrable" cybersecurity unit to prevent election hacking.

Hours after promoting the idea on Sunday 9th July, the US president said that he did not think it could actually happen. The idea of a partnership with Russia was ridiculed by senior Republicans. It comes after Mr Trump's first face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany on Friday, in which the pair discussed the issue.

Mr Trump described the outcome of the talks as positive and suggested closer co-operation between the two nations.
"Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking, and many other negative things, will be guarded and safe," he said. 

The initial proposal immediately prompted derision from Democrats, as well as some Republicans who questioned why the US would work with Russia after the Kremlin's alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.
Mr Trump shifted his position on Sunday night.
"The fact that President Putin and I discussed a cyber-security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't," he tweeted.
However, he stressed that another issue discussed in his talks with Mr Putin, a ceasefire in south-western Syria, had come into effect.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had sought to defend the proposed cyber unit after Mr Trump's initial announcement. Speaking on ABC's This Week programme, he described it as a "significant accomplishment" for Mr Trump.
"What we want to make sure is that we co-ordinate with Russia," he added.
However, Republican Senator Marco Rubio suggested that such an initiative would be like partnering with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on chemical weapons.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said: "It's not the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but it's pretty close."

Trump initially delivered his verdict in customary style after returning home from the G20 summit, with a slew of Twitter messages pouring scorn on fake news and his political opponents.

But his plans for a joint cyber unit brought immediate ridicule amid concerns it was a Russian ruse to collect secrets.
The biggest moment of Mr Trump’s second foreign trip was his meeting with Vladimir Putin which came amid continuing questions about whether the American president’s campaign colluded with Russia in efforts to swing last year’s election.
In his Twitter messages, Mr Trump insisted he had twice pressed his counterpart on the Kremlin’s role in election meddling and that Mr Putin had denied any involvement.

His announcement of a joint initiative with the man American intelligence agencies believe ordered Russia’s hacking efforts brought immediate concerns that it was a classic ruse to obtain confidential US information.

A former senior CIA figure even predicted a similar move last month, suggesting any co-operation could be withdrawn at the first sign of disagreement over Ukraine or Syria. 
“The Russians will establish some sort of counter-terrorism cooperation as a chit, a quid pro quo, and withdraw it because of some of the other things we’re doing,” Steve Hall, former CIA chief of Russian operations, told The Daily Beast adding that Russia could then exploit details of US operatives they had learnt from the joint operation.
Mr Trump also used Twitter to declare the G20 a success for America. It marks a now familiar style of politics in which America’s president bypasses traditional media by offering his own analysis direct to his public.

Yet Mr Trump’s trip to Europe garnered mixed reviews at home. While some lauded a presidential vision of Western values delivered during a speech in Warsaw, others said the G20 demonstrated a growing gulf between an isolationist America and the rest of the world on matters of trade and climate change.

BBC:       Telegraph:    

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