A few interesting items have hit the press, (Politico, Washington Post, NY Times, Hill), this week, and they tie together in an alarming way.
Most of the news stems from what occurred at the G20 summit in Hamburg on July 7, 8. To review, the world witnessed what was touted as the first introduction between Donald Trump and his maker Vladimir Putin. Trump was singularly gracious and deferential in his demeanor toward the former KGB Agent who rules Russia.
The pair had a 30 minute meeting penciled in on July 7, 2017, but the meeting dragged on, lasting approximately 140 minutes. That meeting was also attended by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and two translators.
According to Tillerson, who, as former CEO of Exxon-Mobile, has a long standing oil related history with Putin, Trump and Putin became fast friends. Their topics of discussion at the long (ass) meeting were: Syria, the Ukraine, counter-terrorism, cyber-crime, and election tampering.
Trump said he asked Putin twice, and in two different ways, if he had tampered in the American presidential election. Putin said “no” twice. Trump said regarding the tampering: “no one knows for sure.” He refuses to acknowledge that the entire intel community of the U.S., and intel sources of several other countries “know for sure.”
Following that meeting, both Putin and Trump announced their plan to join forces to fight cybersecurity and election meddling—essentially putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
The consensus among most Washington politicians, including many republicans, was that this is a stupid idea and will never happen. That much we knew after the summit.
Now we find there was another meeting, but this one undisclosed, between Trump and Putin. This meeting was held privately, with the exception being one Russian Translator. Trump violated U.S. security protocol by not having an English interpreter, or any one else from the U.S. camp with him at this meeting, but as he has demonstrated repeatedly, the rules do not apply to POTUS 45. This meeting lasted approximately an hour.
It seems that which was never to happen is preparing to happen, because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has put into motion his plans to dismantle America’s State Department Cyber Office. Additionally, he intends to limit the number of people who work on cybersecurity at a time when cybersecurity lapses have upended our world.
Christopher Painter, Americas lead cyber security diplomat since 2011, has been terminated and will not be replaced. Prior to this post he served in top cyber roles at the National Security Council, the FBI and the Justice Department. Again, there are no plans to replace him.
Tillerson was urged against taking these actions, which weaken our resolve against increasingly invasive cyberattacks, leaving the United States as the only major country without a lead cyber diplomat, and creating unnecessary gaps which could easily endanger our national security.
It isn’t difficult to put these stories together and see that Trump and Putin have plans that are not in the interest of the U.S. Putin would like to control every upcoming U.S. election, and it appears Trump is onboard. Who knows what else will be done with the information they amass.
Donald Trump and his staff, everyone associated with him and Russia, need to be removed from the White House immediately. Every day they remain we lose more of ourselves to Russia. This is not a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans, all Americans need to stand up and fight for our national security and our freedom because everything is at risk.