Senate Dems request materials related to Trump-Putin Helsinki meeting

Senate Dems request materials related to Trump-Putin Helsinki meeting
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Two top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions State Department's top arms control official leaving MORE requesting information about President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE’s July summit in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The two senators asked Pompeo to provide “all classified and unclassified cable traffic, memoranda of conversations, interpreter’s notes and policy directives related to the meeting, and if no such documents exist, to confirm so.”

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“Our questions over what commitments President Trump made on behalf of the United States during the private, two-hour meeting remain unanswered. … We make this request only as a direct result of the extraordinary and, to our knowledge, unprecedented circumstances of President Trump’s two hour, one-on-one meeting with a leader identified as a threat to the United States by President Trump’s own National Security Strategy,” Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCruz endorses GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire Meghan McCain: Lewandowski Senate run would be 'an absolutely ridiculous crap show' Super PAC targets Lewandowski with ad amid Senate speculation MORE (D-N.H.) wrote. 

Menendez is the ranking member on the committee, on which Shaheen also sits.

The summit was the subject of bipartisan criticism surrounding an hours-long sit down the two leaders had with no aides except translators. The White House has not released any details on what was discussed, while the Kremlin has released statements claiming Trump made commitments on issues such as Ukraine and Syria.

Trump also faced pushback from both sides of the aisle following an ensuing bilateral press conference with Putin in which he appeared to take the Russian president’s word over that of the U.S. intelligence committee that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The president walked back those comments a day later, but the senators still pointed to the press conference as a concern.

“The public press conference in which the President called the United States ‘foolish’ and praised Putin’s election meddling denial as ‘strong and powerful’ continues to be the only firsthand, U.S. account the American people have of what was addressed,” Menendez and Shaheen wrote.

The senators said their concern surrounding the summit is “heightened” by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and fears the Kremlin may attempt to meddle in the upcoming midterm elections.

“Our concern about this meeting is heightened by the ongoing Special Counsel investigation into potential ties between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian intelligence operatives and others who sought to interfere in our democratic process. There is an urgent need to address this matter given the continued interference by Russia in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections,” they wrote.

It was reported in late July that Russian hackers targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a vulnerable incumbent in a tight reelection race in a state Trump won easily in 2016.

“I can confirm that we’ve received the letter and will respond accordingly,” a State Department spokesperson said in a comment to The Hill.

Trump and White House national security adviser John Bolton have both said they raised the issue of election meddling in meetings with Russian officials.

Updated at 5:36 p.m.