SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — California is at the fore of the “resist Trump” movement in the United States, and there is one elected official in particular that is using his station to be the voice of this resistance: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Padilla, who is California’s chief elections official, released a statement Sunday condemning the president over a recent tweet about partnering with Russia on cybersecurity.
“Every American – including our representatives in Congress – should be outraged by Trump’s latest tweet describing his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Padilla states.
This is the tweet he is referring to:
Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
The California secretary of state responded with his own tweet hours later:
Trump says he's America 1st. When it comes to elections/cyber security, he puts Putin 1st. More reason not to hand over private voter data. https://t.co/Wdp4cuIJSn
— Alex Padilla (@AlexPadilla4CA) July 9, 2017
Padilla charges that President Trump is putting the interests of Russia and Putin ahead of the interests of the United States by agreeing to work with Russia on cybersecurity.
“With his tweets and policies, Trump is threatening our nation’s security and our democracy. He continues to ignore our United States intelligence agencies who have unanimously concluded that Russia, at the direction of Vladimir Putin, made a full scale effort to undermine and influence the 2016 Presidential Election,” he says in his statement.
Padilla asserts that the cybersecurity tweet is one more reason why secretaries of state should reject the commission's voter data request.
The investigation into the extent of Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election is still ongoing. Russia President Vladimir Putin continues to deny Russia tried to meddle at all. White House officials say Trump did not believe Putin when he re-asserted this during the meeting between the two presidents.
Padilla was also one of the first secretaries of state to reject the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s request for publicly-available data on all registered voters in each state. He said doing so would feed into the administration’s narrative on voter fraud.
“I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally,” he said in a statement.
Padilla asserts that the cybersecurity tweet is one more reason why secretaries of state should reject the commission’s voter data request. He says the administration “cannot be trusted to protect the rights of the American people.”
Yet the full size and scope of how closely the US will be working with Russia on cybersecurity is still mostly unknown. Padilla charges that the president is going to “turn over the keys to our nation’s cyber security defenses,” but it’s difficult to know from a single tweet what this partnership will actually look like.
What do you think of Secretary Padilla’s statement? Is he justified? Or is he using his official station in the California government to make a knee-jerk reaction over a tweet?