Schiff: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin since he 'lacks courage to confront him'

Schiff: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin since he 'lacks courage to confront him'

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffInternet security leader: Hackers are 'trying to undermine very process of democracy' Republicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters Schiff blasts GOP for Russia probe conduct: 'That's how you obstruct an investigation, not how you conduct one' MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday demanded President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE cancel his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin because he lacks the "courage" to confront Putin over the latest indictments pointing to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"Latest indictment of Russian intelligence officers and Kremlin-directed hacking operation designed to help the Trump campaign adds to weight of evidence against Putin," Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee ranking member, tweeted. "Since the President plainly lacks the courage — or the motive — to confront him, he should call off the meeting." 

Schiff's comment came just hours after it was announced that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). All 12 of the defendants are said to be members of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.

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Schiff, in a separate tweet, attached a full statement on the indictments, saying that the "American people need and deserve a president who stands up to foreign interference and puts the interests of our country first." 

The indictments come just days before Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin in Finland.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerReforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' Senate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.Y.) said the meeting should be canceled "… until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections." Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the Senate Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat, said the meeting should not be one-on-one. 

"I'm afraid that actually the president could be taken advantage of," Warner told reporters. 

Before the indictment's announcement on Friday, Trump told reporters that he planned to discuss election interference with Putin in their meeting. 

"We will of course ask your favorite question about meddling. I will be asking that question again,” Trump said at a news conference in Brussels on Thursday.