What, Should Trump NOT Ask Russia For Help With The Cyber? Really, He Shouldn't? Okay
OK, one more game of Minesweeper and then I'm definitely going to stop the Russian hacking.
Donald Trump had a great idea Sunday morning: How about we make sure the Russians never hack our elections again by joining up with them to create a super-secure cyber security program where both countries would make sure they were keeping America safe from Russian hacking, and the other way around, too? Unfortunately, the Washington Elites (and almost everyone who knows anything about cyber security) thought it was a terrible idea, because they're no fun, so then Trump had to walk the idea back by Sunday night, which just goes to show why no really great ideas ever get taken seriously.
Still, Trump had a neat idea to keep America safe -- a lot safer than that dummy Barack Obama did!
That would not be problematic at all, you see, because Donald Trump told Vladimir Putin very sternly not to hack our elections ever again, and then Putin said he'd never even hacked us in the first place, so that's all taken care of and is old fake news now.
You may be astonished to learn that not everyone -- or even anyone -- thought that was the greatest idea! The timing of the tweet, as the Washington Post pointed out, was especially convenient for members of Congress who were going on the Sunday shows, giving them just enough time to practice their spontaneous one-liners about what a bad idea it was. For instance, there was Lindsey Graham, who went on NBC's "Meet the Press" to call it "not the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but it's pretty close":
Lindsey Graham responds to Trump's call to work with Russia, saying it's not the dumbest idea but it's pretty close. pic.twitter.com/51LYWGmJvJ— Spam 4 Trump (@Spam4Trump) July 9, 2017
Graham went on to say that it would be wrong to simply "forgive and forget" the hack of the 2016 election, which seems unfair, since if Trump was willing to have Russia help us prevent any further Russian hacking, then obviously he recognizes Russian hacking was a problem, right?
On CBS's "Face the Nation," John McCain said he though it was a nifty idea, too, since if anyone knows about the hacks, it would be the guy who ordered them:
McCain deadpans on Trump's cybersecurity unit w/ Russia: Putin could be of assistance “since he's doing the hacking” pic.twitter.com/QWMD6YxaAQ— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 9, 2017
"I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort since he’s doing the hacking," said McCain, who then went on to gripe about the process of writing the current defense authorization, for some reason.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, who knows from computers since he has a degree in computer science, told Politico Trump's proposal was “dumb as a rock”:
“Would we form a unit with the Russians to study how we prevent a Russian nuclear attack on the U.S.? We wouldn’t” [...]
Another Democrat, Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle, even vowed to introduce legislation on Tuesday and pursue amendments that would “make sure, in absolutely no shape or form, we spend taxpayer money on this crazy and dangerous idea.”
“This is an opportunity for Republicans to show that they truly do care about this issue and that this is an issue that rises above party politics,” Boyle, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview.
Oh, so the Russian attacks on state election systems were a lot bigger than we thought. Can't see why that's a thing.
Politico also points out that while the computer-security hotline to Moscow remains in place, other elements of the Obama effort to improve cooperation with Russia on cyber security had to be abandoned when
law enforcement swaps of cybercrime information were even turned “into recruitment tools for Russian intelligence and criminal groups,” said Megan Stifel, the National Security Council’s director for international cyber policy from 2013 to 2014.
So after about 12 hours, Trump was on the Twitters again, explaining it was all just a beautiful dream, and why do you haters have to be such haters?
So never mind. We made peace in Syria (as everyone knows, Syrian cease-fires always hold), but fine, throw away my brilliant idea. Just be that way.
Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul had a really practical suggestion for the president, for the next time he has a brilliant idea for a major foreign policy change:
An NSC meeting? Sounds boring. Couldn't Ivanka just sit in for him?
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