- During their press conference in Helsinki, Finland on Monday, President Donald Trump hinted at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s desire to work together to combat election meddling together, saying “he has an interesting idea.”
- Putin said he and Trump could respond to election meddling “through a working group on cybersecurity.”
- Experts slammed the idea when Trump first mentioned it last summer.
During their press conference in Helsinki, Finland on Monday, President Donald Trump hinted at the reignition of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a cybersecurity task force.
“During today’s meeting, I addressed directly the issue of Russian interference in our elections,” Trump said. “I felt this was a message best delivered in person … spent a great deal of time talking about it. And President Putin may very well want to address it and very strongly because he feels very strongly about it, and he has an interesting idea.”
Along with reiterating that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, Putin acknowledged that election meddling arose during his meeting with Trump and also referenced a possible collaboration between both countries in protecting cybersecurity.
“Any specific material, if such things arise, we are ready to analyse together,” Putin said. “For instance, we can analyse them through a working group on cybersecurity, the establishment of which we discussed during our previous meeting.”
This talk of election meddling and a cybersecurity task force comes just days after the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
Not the first time they have considered a cybersecurity task force
“Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded and safe,” Trump said in a tweet after their meeting.
“The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen,” Trump said in a tweet. “It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!”
The implementation of a US-Russia cyber security force would be seen as an eyebrow-raising move amid the consensus from US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to favour Trump and hurt then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, using cyberwarfare to do so.
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