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 PompeoIn Afghanistan, give peace a chance — and a lot of time The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia MORE requesting information about President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis 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) MenendezPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate passes .5B border bill, setting up fight with House MORE (D-N.J.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenEpstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse House Dems, Senate GOP build money edge to protect majorities Crucial for Congress to fund life-saving diabetes research 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 MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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.