On Sunday, President Trump floated a surprising solution to concerns about alleged Russian hacking of US election systems.
The president met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany and reports that Putin "vehemently denied" that Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump also insists that "it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia."
His idea that "working constructively" might include a collaboration on cyber security issues was met with alarm and derision.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham went off on NBC's Meet the Press, saying that Trump's plan was “not the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but it's pretty close.” Graham also said that the president is “literally the only person I know of who doesn't believe Russia attacked our election in 2016" and said he was “dumbfounded."
Former defense secretary Ash Carter said this about Putin to CNN: "This is like the guy who robbed your house proposing a working group on burglary."
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defended the idea, saying that Trump and Putin had agreed to create "a cyber unit to make sure that there was absolutely no interference whatsoever, that they would work on cyber security together."
Late in the day, President Trump seemed to back off the proposal.
Fans of Michael Corleone might defend President Trump by suggesting that he's just engaging in "Godfather Diplomacy."
What do you think? Is it time to move on from these allegations and forge closer ties with Russia? Can Putin be trusted? Does President Trump have the right idea? Should the USA increase its efforts to secure our computer networks against foreign hacking or have the concerns been overblown? Sound off!