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

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

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 SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar MORE (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter that the Senate should take the decision out of Trump's hands.


"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 SchatzThe Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Schumer to force vote Tuesday on sweeping election bill MORE (D-Hawaii) promised McFaul that he and other lawmakers would support him.

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyRon Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination 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."