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>> US President Donald Trump on Sunday saying that in his closely watched meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend. The two men discussed measures to protect their countries from political cyber attacks. In a tweet, Trump writing, Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded and secure.
That message catching many off guard. US intelligence agencies have concluded that it was Russia under direct instruction from Putin that deliberately hacked into US political parties computers. And released information in a sustained effort to sway the 2016 presidential election toward Trump. As republican senator Marco Rubio put it in response to the President.
Partnering with Putin on a Cyber Security Unit is akin to partnering with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on a Chemical Weapons Unit. That might not be a perfectly constructed analogy, but the sentiment from critics was clear. Trump's tweet sounds like the President hopes to work with a fox to better guard the hen house.
>> I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort since he's doing the hacking.>> The President has repeatedly dismissed and questioned the veracity of claims that Russia interfered in the election, claims that appear to undercut the legitimacy of his electoral victory. At G20 meetings in Hamburg, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Trump confronted Putin on the issue.
And UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told CBS News the President believes reports about Russian interference.>> President Trump still knows that they meddled. President Putin knows that they meddled.>> But Russia's stating the opposite. That Trump, in fact, accepted Putin's denials and, seemingly, Trump took up Moscow's line on the matter.
Tweeting that while he pressed Putin about the subject, the Russian, quote, vehemently denied it. Adding, now it's time to move forward in working constructively with Russia.