President Trump met with Vladimir Putin on Friday, and today tweeted that the two of them discussed forming an "impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded and safe".
The announcement was lauded by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who stated "The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries, and agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats". U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added on ABC Sunday talk show "This Week" that the plan was "a very significant accomplishment for President Trump."
For the proposed cyber security unit to work, many experts believe the US would need to provide information to Russia on how the US currently defends against hacking. Sharing this information with the Russians would give the Russians secrets that they could then exploit for their own purposes. It would give the fox a guide to the hen house.
The announcement by the administration quickly came under fire by both Democrats and Republicans, with Senator John McCain stating "I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort since he’s doing the hacking.” Senator Lindsey Graham called Trump “literally the only person I know of who doesn't believe Russia attacked our election in 2016" and said he was “dumbfounded.” Graham added that Trump's plan was “not the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but it's pretty close.” The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley went further saying, "...we can't trust Russia, and we won't ever trust Russia". Ambassador Haley's comments came after Putin had confirmed that Russia and the United States would work together on a number of different issues, including cyber security.