Republican senators against Trump's American-Russian cyber security unit initiative

Trump says time to work 'constructively' with Russia

"Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded. and safe", Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

First, the United States will "move on" from election hacking issues with no accountability or consequences for Russia; in fact, the U.S. will form a "framework" with Russia to cooperate on cybersecurity issues, evaluating weaknesses and assessing potential responses jointly.

His definition of what constitutes Western values may not have been to everyone's tastes - but he also committed the US to Article 5 of Nato, with its pledge that an attack on one is an attack against all. Florida Senator Marco Rubio argued that "Partnering with Putin on a 'Cyber Security Unit' is akin to partnering with Assad on a 'Chemical Weapons Unit.'" Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse called the whole idea "inexplicably bizarre". When asked what to do about a US President who could impose trade barriers as soon as he gets back home, she said: "I can only take things as they come".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Trump's refusal to sign on to the statement was "regrettable".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, also slammed the idea coming out of what he described as a "disastrous" meeting with Putin. Foreign leaders know that flattering him is the way to his heart - the Chinese and Saudis seemed to have understood this well - and that his deepest commitments appear to be to his business interests. Instead, he seems to have had substantial discussions on many of the key topics in the U.S. -Russia relationship.

That work, Trump said, will include a new ceasefire in Syria, as well as a joint cybersecurity operation. The bill awaits passage in the House.

Both disdain detail. Trump's preparatory materials for his meeting with Putin were reportedly written in "tweet-length sentences". In his absence, unpaid senior adviser Ivanka Trump took the president's seat between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Moscow said Trump accepted its arguments that it had not intervened in the election, a version of events the White House denies. That ban was put in place by the Russian government as retaliation for a US law known as the Magnitsky Act, which allows the US to withhold visas and freeze the assets of Russians thought to have violated human rights.

"He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion", Trump said.

Trump Jr. said he was asked to attend the meeting "with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign" at the request of an acquaintance he knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. He is, alas, a man whose commitment to these values we have reason to doubt, and his European jaunt did nothing to calm those fears. I do know it's not cool to indiscriminately concentrate executive power among family members, which Trump has done since Election Day. But that has not stopped the corporate media and their political masters from persisting in their narrative of Russophobia. If we fail to defend what our "ancestors" passed down to us, Trump warned, "it will never, ever exist again".

Mexican officials said they agreed ahead of time with their US counterparts not to mention the border wall that Mr Trump has promised to build between the two countries.

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