U.S. President Donald Trump courted controversy recently over a proposed joint cybersecurity division that would be formed with Russia. However, on the weekend, Trump backed down from the idea under the belief it would not happen.
Trump initially made the proposal on Sunday, but was quickly forced to back down. A wave of criticism descended on the idea and the President shut it down. Of course, this is not the first time Donald Trump has caused controversy in his five-month terms as President.
It was not just Democrats that targeted Trump's plans, but also his own Republican Party. Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the businessman-turned-politician said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the formation of an “impenetrable Cyber Security unit”.
While clearly not going into detail over 140 characters, Trump's plan would have attempted to shore up each country from increasing cyber-attacks. Interestingly, Russia has been a long term cyber enemy of the U.S. and was accused of meddling in last year's Presidential Elections. Putin denied such actions last week, but still, Trump's proposal seems almost comic.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina clearly agrees, telling NBC “It's not the dumbest idea I have ever heard but it's pretty close.”
Unfortunately, Trump seems to be going for a monopoly on dumb ideas. He has often left his White House staff and the Republican Party constantly scrambling to cover his tracks. President Barack Obama's U.S. defense secretary, Ash Carter, was dismissive of the idea in an interview with CNN:
“This is like the guy who robbed your house proposing a working group on burglary.”
Donald Trump has a habit of sounding off on Twitter and not following through. He is a President who believes saying things off the record exists when in reality everything the President says could be construed as policy.
Either way, Trump was back on Twitter later Sunday to play down the ambitious joint cyber unit:
“The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't,” Trump said.