Dem seeks to block funding for cyber effort with Russia

Dem seeks to block funding for cyber effort with Russia
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Three Democratic lawmakers in the House have introduced amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act hammering President Trump's posture toward Russia. 

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced an amendment blocking funding to any new joint cybersecurity effort with Russia, such as the one the president is said to have agreed to with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Officials from both the United States and Russia in the room when Trump and Putin met Friday both said that leaders agreed to some form of bilateral cybersecurity unit. 

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

Thirteen hours later, he appeared to reverse course in another tweet, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen."

Rep. Rueben Gallego (D-Ariz.) offered a late amendment in a similar vein, prohibiting cybersecurity related information sharing with Russia without congressional approval. 

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Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), meanwhile, introduced an amendment stating that it is the "sense of Congress that [Trump] ... undermin[es] the conclusions of the intelligence community and his own cabinet members ... [and] United States credibility, hinders deterrence and challenges United States standing with key allies" by not acknowledging that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Trump has argued that only the CIA, NSA, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence have formally attributed the attack to Russia, which is fewer than the 17 agencies Democratic candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff MORE once argued had agreed on the issue.

However, none of the remaining agencies have ever publicly issued a competing opinion and many of those remaining agencies — such as Coast Guard Intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — focus on topics far afield from the issue. 

- This story was updated at 1:19 p.m.