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Trump pulls away from 'cyber security unit' with Russia

The US president abandons the idea of a Russia linked cybersecurity unit.

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The president appears to have changed his tune about a joint cybersecurity effort with Russia.

Nick Hyde/CNET

President Donald Trump appears to have dropped the idea of creating a "cyber security unit" that would work closely with Russia to safeguard elections, reported CBS News. In a tweet Sunday night, Trump downplayed a possible collaboration, stating bluntly that "it can't" happen.

This is a reversal from comments the president made earlier Sunday. Trump said then, also via Twitter, that he discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the notion, "forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit" to prevent election hacking.

However, US intelligence agencies determined Russia had conducted hacking operations to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election. In December, former President Barack Obama called for sweeping sanctions against Russia in response to the country's cyberattacks. In March, the FBI confirmed it had launched a formal probe into ties between Trump's campaign and foreign cyberattacks, though the president has denied reports of Russian hackers meddling on his behalf.   

Trump and Putin talked in person on Friday at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The event is an annual gathering of the leaders of the world's 20 most industrialized countries.