Senate Dem ‘very concerned’ about what Trump might 'give away' in Putin meeting

Senate Dem ‘very concerned’ about what Trump might 'give away' in Putin meeting
© Greg Nash

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsHillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Democrats raise privacy concerns over Amazon home security system Senators press Facebook over user location tracking policies MORE (D-Del.) raised concerns on Sunday about what President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE might say to Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two leaders meet in Finland later this month. 

"My concern is that he’ll continue to stir the pot with NATO, undermine our commitment to mutual security that is at the core of NATO and then go to Helsinki for a summit with Putin, where I’m very concerned about what things he might give away or what things he might say with Vladimir Putin, who really is a core adversary of both the United States and the NATO alliance," Coons said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

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Trump is set to meet with Putin on July 16, days after he attends the annual NATO summit in Brussels with some of the closest U.S. allies. 

The back-to-back summits have raised concerns among some foreign leaders and U.S. lawmakers that Trump could seek a repeat of the Group of Seven summit in Canada last month, when he showed up late to the gathering, sharply criticized U.S. allies and left early to fly to Singapore for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump has long blamed NATO members for placing too much of a burden on the U.S. to pay for Europe's defense — a line he has repeated in recent days.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that Trump has told advisers that he could seek to cut funding on Europe's defense if NATO members do not step up their own military and defense spending.

Trump has also spoken fondly of Putin, despite concerns from U.S. officials and NATO allies over Moscow's destabilizing activities, such as its 2014 annexation of Crimea and its military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

At a rally in Montana last Thursday, Trump waved off concerns about Putin's past career as a Russian intelligence officer, saying the leader is "fine."