After Donald Trump's recent skirmish with two MSNBC hosts, many were reminded of Melania Trump's plans to combat cyber-bullying -- which her husband appeared to be engaged in. Asked for comment, Melania Trump didn't seem at all concerned about the president's abusive behavior, saying through a spokesperson that "when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder."
The president does not, however, seem to apply that standard to the United States. When the country is attacked, Trump not only fails to punch back 10 times harder, he also agrees to cozy up to the adversary responsible for the attack. Here was the Washington Post's report from midday yesterday:
President Trump vowed Sunday to "move forward in working constructively with Russia," including forming a cybersecurity unit between the two countries, after Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any interference in the 2016 U.S. election.Trump's pledge to partner with Putin on cybersecurity drew swift and stern denunciations from both Democratic and Republican officials, who described the U.S. president as dangerously naive for trusting his Russian counterpart.
After Trump's problematic meeting with the Russian president whose attack helped elevate Trump to power, there was some disagreement among officials from both countries about exactly what was said during the private discussion.
But the American president removed all doubt yesterday with a series of statements via Twitter. Trump said Putin "vehemently denied" intervening in the American election, and so, as far as Trump is concerned, it's time to "move forward."
And with that in mind, the U.S. leader added that he's prepared to form "an impenetrable Cyber Security unit" with Russia "so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded."
As is always the case, it's best to pay less attention to what Trump and his aides say and more attention to what they do. In this case, in response to the most serious attack against the United States since 9/11, Team Trump has done nothing, is doing nothing, and intends to continue to do nothing -- except partner with Russia on some kind of "cyber-security unit."
This was, of course, a ridiculous idea -- when someone breaks into your house, you don't reach out to them to install a new home-security system -- and yet, the White House dispatched Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to ABC News' "This Week" yesterday to tout the cyber-security unit as "a very significant accomplishment for President Trump."
It took 12 hours, but Trump apparently realized that his proposal was indefensible, and he announced, in reference to the partnership his team was bragging about earlier in the day, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't."
Evidently, it wasn't "a very significant accomplishment" for the president after all.