Senate Dems urge Trump to press Putin on election meddling

Senate Dems urge Trump to press Putin on election meddling

Top Senate Democrats on Thursday urged President Trump to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about meddling in the 2016 presidential election when the two leaders meet on Friday. 

“We believe it is crucial for you — as the President of the United States — to raise this matter with President Putin and ensure that he hears you loud and clear — interfering in our election was wrong in 2016 and it will not be permitted to happen again," several Senate Democrats wrote in a letter to the president. "We urge you to raise this matter with President Putin later this week. President Putin must understand this can never happen again."

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.), Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Dems seize on Kavanaugh emails to question role in terrorism response Trump gives thumbs up to prison sentencing reform bill at pivotal meeting MORE (D-Ill.), Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedTop Senate Democrat: Space Force is 'not the way to go' Sunday shows preview: Virginia lawmakers talk Charlottesville, anniversary protests Look to our public servants to see America’s promise MORE (D-R.I.), Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinBusinesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech Hillicon Valley: Trump officials deliver show of force on election security | Apple hits trillion | How fake Facebook groups manipulated real activists | Senate group seeks new Russia sanctions MORE (D-Md.) and Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Intel chief slams ex-CIA director for timing of claims about Trump-Russia ties Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan Hillicon Valley: Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance | Twitter cracks down on InfoWars | AT&T hit with crypto lawsuit | DHS hosts election security exercise MORE (D-Va.) signed on to the letter.

Democrats point in their letter to assessments by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the election, saying Trump must stand firm against the threat that Russia may attempt to interfere in future elections.

“The United States has elections this coming fall and additional elections in 2018. No candidate, Democrat, Republican, or independent, wants to have President Putin and his cronies manipulating his or her electorate," the senators wrote.

They said Congress and the White House must work together to stop Putin. 

"And, it’s critical that both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government use every tool at our disposal to ensure that Putin does not believe he has a freehand to implement his manipulative program of election interference ever again. The upcoming elections cannot be a playground for President Putin," the letter continued.

“Not raising this matter with President Putin would be a severe dereliction of the duty of the office to which you were elected," they added.

Putin and Trump are expected to meet outside the Group of 20 summit on Friday, as world leaders meet in Hamburg, Germany.

Their highly anticipated first meeting comes amid ongoing U.S. investigations into whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia during the election.