Sunday morning President Trump tweeted a recap of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit to counter some of the press analysis charging him with being too lenient with Putin on hacking/meddling allegations.
I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
...We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
...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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
...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?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
What could have been a helpful string of tweets is sidelined by the proposal that there could or should be some type of joint Cyber Security unit with the Russians. It's unhelpful and a horrible idea for a couple of reasons. First, nothing is unhackable. If by some miracle the two countries were able to create something electronically unhackable, the operation would involve a number of people, and people spy and leak information all the time.
Secondly, it's not clear exactly what data this unit would have access to and what they would do with it. "[S]o that election hacking & other negative things will be guarded and safe" is vague, and the terminology doesn't make sense. Would we be allowing the Russians to verify our elections weren't hacked? The way this is worded, Democrats and other critics could say Trump wants to form this unit to "hide the evidence" his team colluded with Russia and allow Russia to influence future elections.
Thirdly, there is no reason to allow Russia (or any other country) anywhere near any of our data. Beyond that, it's an enormous national security risk.
Lastly, one allegation Democrats constantly make is that they are afraid of being harassed for political views (though they are the ones guilty of doing exactly that). This Cyber Security unit plays right into that narrative, and if they're not already saying it, a talking point will be that it's a way for a joint Putin-Trump government to keep tabs on any dissent and squelch it.
Trump's question about the FBI being denied access to the DNC's server is a valid and still-unanswered point that is unfortunately obscured by the "move forward with Russia" and Cyber Security unit comments.
Right on cue, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of the House Intelligence Committee used the keywords to trigger the paranoid sore losers.
A cyber security working group with the very perpetrators of the attack on our election? Might as well just mail our ballots to Moscow. pic.twitter.com/RjbhhI4MTw— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 9, 2017
"I don't think we can expect the Russians to be any kind of credible partner...If that's our best election defense, we might as well just mail our ballots to Moscow. I don't think that's an answer at all."
Unfortunately, President Trump walked right into this.