Senate

Schumer: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin

Anna Moneymaker

Several congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), on Friday called on President Trump to cancel a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” Schumer said in a statement. “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”

{mosads}Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments — part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election meddling — at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win,” Schumer added in his statement.

The indictments come days before Trump is scheduled to meet one-on-one with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday. The sit-down had already sparked concerns among U.S. allies, and some lawmakers on Capitol Hill, that Trump could agree to concessions as part of the talks.

Schumer isn’t the only Democrat calling on Trump to nix the meeting with Putin in the wake of the indictments.

“In light of this stunning indictment by the Justice Department that these Russian conspirators attacked our democracy and were communicating with Americans to interfere in our election, President Trump should immediately cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin,” said Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that Trump should cancel the meeting if he isn’t willing to confront Putin about the indictments.

Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said Trump should cancel the meeting, adding that Putin has “consistently lied” about election interference.

At Friday’s press conference, Rosenstein said Trump is “fully aware” of the indictments and was briefed on the matter earlier this week.

Trump promised on Friday, before Rosenstein’s press conference, that he would “firmly ask the question” about election interference in his meeting with Putin.

Not every Democrat immediately called for Trump to cancel the meeting. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after the news of the indictments the stakes for the meeting “could not be higher.”

“President Trump must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy,” she said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former chairman and current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, added that Trump “should know that Putin is going to lie to his face” about Russian election meddling.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Eric Swalwell Jack Reed Nancy Pelosi Patrick Leahy Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Steve Cohen
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