‘Important Step Forward’ – Mnuchin Defends Cooperation With Russia

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Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin defended reports Sunday that President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of a cybersecurity partnership with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The president is focused on strategically negotiating with Putin,” Mnuchin told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week. “We have some very serious issues to deal with.”

Trump revealed that he spoke with Putin about an “impenetrable Cyber Security” unit.

Mnuchin vigorously defended the president when Stephanopoulos asked about the potential joint-effort with Russia.

“I think that this is a very important step forward,” Mnuchin said. “What we want to make sure is that we coordinate with Russia, that we’re focused on cybersecurity together, that we make sure that they never interfere in any democratic elections.”

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio blasted the potential plan, saying that Putin will never be a trusted ally or “reliable constructive partner.”



“This is like any other strategic alliance, whether we’re doing military exercises with our allies or anything else. This is about having capabilities to make sure we both fight cyber together, which I think is a very significant accomplishment for President Trump,” Mnuchin added.

He said that Trump discussed Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but also listed a Syrian ceasefire and no fly zone, Ukraine, and North Korea as top priorities for the president’s meeting with Putin.

“That’s what the president is focused on,” he said.

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