Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting

Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting
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Senate Democrats are demanding President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE detail what he discussed during a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the answers are needed to "adequately protect America’s interests."
 
Six Democrats sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday saying Americans "have a right to know" what the two leaders discussed during their closed-door meeting on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
 
"Just today the Russian Ministry of Defense publicly stated that it is prepared to start implementing an agreement you apparently struck in Helsinki with President Putin, an agreement that neither Congress nor the American people have been informed about," the lawmakers wrote.
 
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They added that lawmakers "cannot afford to be blindsided or outmaneuvered."
 
The letter was signed by Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Strong job growth drives home choice for voters this election MORE (N.Y.) and Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems seize on Kavanaugh emails to question role in terrorism response Trump gives thumbs up to prison sentencing reform bill at pivotal meeting Overnight Defense: Officials make show of force on election security | Dems want probe into Air Force One tours | Pentagon believes Korean War remains 'consistent' with Americans MORE (Ill.) as well as Democratic Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap Administration should use its leverage to get Egypt to improve its human rights record MORE (N.J.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDustbin 2020: The best Dems who surely won’t get the nomination WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe Democrats find dead man’s signature on petition gathered by GOP volunteers MORE (Va.), 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 (R.I.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDustbin 2020: The best Dems who surely won’t get the nomination Vulnerable Dems side with Warren in battle over consumer bureau Early polls favor Biden but Senate officials skeptical MORE (Ohio), the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Armed Services and Banking Committees, respectively.
 
Democrats want Trump to detail all topics discussing during the meeting, including any "suggestions" Trump made to Putin.

They also want to know about any talk on changing international security agreements, if Trump made any commitments tied to the United States' presence in Syria or military exercises for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"Mr. President, the answers to these questions are of critical importance to U.S. national security. Answering them in full, without hesitation, will demonstrate that you do still hold America’s interests first," the Democratic senators wrote. 

They added that Trump's "cursory description" of the meeting did not assuage their concerns and "we as a nation must now wonder exactly what you discussed and may have promised to President Putin."

Democrats also want to know if Trump pressed Putin on Russia's annexation of Crimea or for the extradition of the 12 Russian nationals indicted last week for meddling in the 2016 election.

The letter comes after Trump shocked Washington on Monday when he refused to condemn Russia's election meddling during a joint press conference with Putin. Trump tried to walk back his comments on Tuesday amid a political firestorm, saying he accepts the intelligence community's finding that Russia interfered in the election.

But muddling his message, Trump added that it "could be other people also."

The Senate is debating passing new sanctions legislation targeting Russia in the wake of the Helsinki summit and last week's indictment. 

Democrats added on Tuesday that in addition to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts Turkish president: US set deadline to release detained pastor Pompeo discusses new sanctions in call with Russian counterpart MORE, who is slated to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee next week, they also want U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, a high-ranking intelligence official and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to testify.