Following meetings with the Russian president during the Group of 20 Summit, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and Vladimir Putin discussed forming a cybersecurity unit to guard against election hacking.
In several tweets posted early Sunday morning, Trump claimed to have discussed with Putin an “impenetrable cyber security unit,” so that election hacking and “many other negative things, will be guarded and safe.”
Trump also said he raised allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion…..”
He added, “We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!” Trump also once again posed the question of why former President Barack Obama allegedly declined to act on information about a potential hacking before the election.
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Trump and Putin’s first meeting during the G20 Summit was widely anticipated given allegations that the Trump campaign was somehow linked to Russian officials. Following a brief media appearance and subsequent two-hour meeting, Putin emerged confident that Trump was satisfied that Russia hadn’t meddled in the American presidential election.
“He asked many questions on the subject, I tried to answer them all,” Putin said. “It seems to me that he has taken note of that and agreed, but it’s better to ask him about his attitude,” said Putin in a post-meeting conference.
He went on to discuss the cybersecurity unit the president appears to refer to in his tweet, saying that if the two nations work together in this space, there should be no uncertainty.
“What is important is that we agreed that there should be no uncertainty in that sphere,” he said. “We agreed with the U.S. president to create a working group and work jointly on how to ensure cyberspace security, how to ensure the fulfillment of international legal norms in that sphere and prevent meddling in internal affairs of Russia and the U.S. We believe that if we work that way, and I have no reason to doubt it, there will be no such allegations.”
However, Ambassador Nikki Haley gave a contradictory statement to CNN on Saturday, disputing Putin’s assessment of Trump’s takeaway from their meeting.
“President Trump still knows that they meddled. President Putin knows that they meddled, but he is never going to admit to it. And that’s all that happened,” Haley said.