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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."

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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers MORE (D-N.Y.), Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight GOP senators: Mnuchin should not go to Saudi Arabia MORE (D-Ill.), Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Trump asks Turkey for evidence on missing journalist | Key Dem calls for international probe | Five things to know about 'MBS' | Air Force struggles to determine cost of hurricane damage to F-22 jets Trump administration doesn't have ambassadors in Saudi Arabia or Turkey Top Armed Services Dem calls for international probe into missing Saudi journalist MORE (D-R.I.), Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Dem senator: Trump accepts Saudi denials because he is 'enamored' with dictators Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP MORE (D-Md.) and Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism Is there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel 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.