Donald Trump runs away from "strategic idiocy" of Russia cybersecurity partnership

Donald Trump said he wanted to work "constructively" with Russia. Now he's not so sure

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 10, 2017 9:35AM (EDT)

Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump   (AP/Evan Vucci)
Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump (AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump's meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, is being overshadowed by his suggestion of partnering up with that nation on cybersecurity issues.

Later, Trump qualified his cybersecurity claim by adding:

It turns out that national security experts looked quite askance at the notion of Trump partnering America up with Russia.

The former director for cybersecurity legislation and policy in Barack Obama's White House, Chris Finan, has said that the concept is "strategic idiocy," according to a report by Politico. Similarly, Obama administration official R. D. Edelman — who handled cyber issues involving Moscow from both the State Department and the White House — told the site: "On the heels of their election hacking, giving a country with that record access to sensitive information about our cybersecurity capabilities — and perhaps inadvertently, our citizens — is a mistake."

If it's even possible, there was a prominent Trump administration critic who was even harsher on the president – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

"The more he talks about this in terms of not being sure, the more he throws our intelligence communities under the bus, the more he’s willing to forgive and forget Putin, the more suspicion. And I think it’s going to dog his presidency until he breaks this cycle," Graham explained on "Meet the Press."

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona showed similar contempt for Trump's attitude toward Russia on CBS's "Face the Nation," stating, "I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort, since he’s doing the hacking."

Senior administration officials have told The New York Times that Russia's alleged election meddling consumed roughly 40 minutes of the 135 minute meeting between Trump and Putin.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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