Democrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans

Democrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans
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Congressional Democrats on Wednesday railed against indications that the White House is considering an offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin to observe questioning of indicted Russians in exchange for allowing Russian authorities to question American citizens.

Numerous Democratic senators and representatives took to Twitter to voice concerns with Trump's apparent willingness to consider the offer, which Putin made during the two leaders' meeting in Finland on Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US MORE (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter that the Senate should take the decision out of Trump's hands.

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"Congress must come together to prevent Trump from acting on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This request is absurd," Rep. Colleen HanabusaColleen Wakako HanabusaHawaii New Members 2019 Ige wins second term as Hawaii governor The Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts MORE (D-Hawaii) tweeted.

"Lawmakers and the American people need to know what else Trump promised Putin," she continued. "This is a serious national security issue."

At a joint press conference in Finland, Putin said he’d be willing to allow U.S. law enforcement to travel to Russia and observe the questioning of suspects implicated in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. In exchange, Putin said he’d want access to U.S. citizens for questioning. 

Trump appeared receptive to the offer, saying at Monday's press conference that Putin had made an "incredible offer."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump will discuss the offer with other U.S. officials, adding that "there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States."

Some Democratic lawmakers responded Wednesday specifically to the suggestion that former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul would be among the Americans to be questioned by Russian authorities.

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzWarren introduces bill targeted at food insecurity on college campuses On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency at hearing MORE (D-Hawaii) promised McFaul that he and other lawmakers would support him.

Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator FTC looks to update children's internet privacy rules MORE (D-Mass.) warned that Russia was attempting to "create an equivalence" between McFaul and the 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted last week for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election.

"America does not expose our nation’s ambassadors to this kind of harassment. Period. Trump must not even consider this," Markey tweeted.

Rep. Loyd Doggett (D-Texas) echoed Markey's concerns, adding that Trump's consideration of the offer "shows how far into Putin's pocket he's fallen."