Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin pushed for America to "coordinate with Russia" on cyber security, despite evidence that their government attacked — and continues to attack — the United States.
Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted that, despite widespread concerns about cyber-attacks against America, the United States should "coordinate with Russia" on cyber security initiatives.
After Donald Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 conference, it was announced that the two countries would be working together on the project — yet another concession from Trump towards the country that interfered in our election on his behalf.
Even some Republicans have balked at the announcement. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), said in a tweet, "Partnering with Putin on a 'Cyber Security Unit' is akin to partnering with Assad on a 'Chemical Weapons Unit.'"
But Mnuchin apparently doesn't see it that way. Reacting to Rubio's criticism on ABC's This Week, Mnuchin told host George Stephanopoulos, "I think this is a very important step forward that what we want to make sure is that we coordinate with Russia, that we're focused on cyber security together."
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president also said in his tweets this morning that he's setting up a cyber security partnership with President Putin. That's already drawn a response from many, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who said, 'Partnering with Putin on a cybersecurity unit is akin to partnering with Assad on a chemical weapons unit.' Your response?
MNUCHIN: In all due respect, and I think very highly of the senator, but let me just comment on that. I think this is a very important step forward, that what we want to make sure is that we coordinate with Russia, that we're focused on cyber security together, that we make sure that they never interfere in any democratic elections or conduct any cyber security, and this is like any other strategic alliance, whether we're doing military exercises with our allies or anything else. This is about having capabilities to make sure that we both fight cyber together, which I think is a very significant accomplishment for President Trump.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democratic member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, was even more outspoken than Rubio in his condemnation of the initiative in a separate interview on CNN:
I don't think we can expect the Russians to be some sort of credible partner in a cyber security unit, I think that would be dangerously naïve for this country, if that's our best election defense, we might as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow.
After their interference in our 2016 election, Russia continues to attack and antagonize America with state-sponsored and sanctioned computer attacks.
The insistence that the United States must work on issues related to cyber security with a country that committed cyber attacks against our democracy is yet another sign that Russia's gamble paid off handsomely — while leaving America holding the bill.