Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7

Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7
© Greg Nash

A group of top Senate Democrats are warning President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE against inviting Russia to rejoin the Group of Seven (G-7), after the president opened the door to allowing Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFeehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision Taliban travels to Moscow after Trump declares talks dead Russians tune out Vladimir Putin MORE to take part in next year's meeting. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Robert 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.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedIs the Senate ready to protect American interests in space? Trump moving forward to divert .6B from military projects for border wall GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped MORE (D-R.I.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCalifornia Law to rebuild middle class shows need for congressional action Hillicon Valley: FCC approves Nexstar-Tribune merger | Top Democrat seeks answers on security of biometric data | 2020 Democrats take on Chinese IP theft | How Google, Facebook probes are testing century-old antitrust laws Top Democrat demands answers from CBP on security of biometric data MORE (D-Va.), the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees respectively, sent a letter to Trump citing "strong opposition" to allowing Putin to join the G-7.

"Under no circumstances should President Putin be invited to participate in the G7 until the Russian government undertakes demonstrable actions to show its willingness to behave responsibly both domestically and abroad," they wrote. 

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"Readmitting Putin’s Russia to the G7 would be contrary to our values and a clear abdication of the United States’ responsibilities as the world’s leading democracy," the senators added.

The letter comes after Trump said on Monday that he would "certainly" invite Putin to join next year's G-7 meeting. The United States will serve as host of next year's annual gathering of world leaders, giving Trump the ability to invite heads of state who are not part of the G-7.

Russia was expelled from the then-G-8 in 2014 over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, an incident cited by the senators in their letter to Trump. 

"If President Putin’s regime is willing to directly and flagrantly violate these international agreements and disregard the sovereignty of its neighbors, the Russian government should not be trusted with a leadership position on the world stage," the Democratic senators wrote.

Trump has previously floated allowing Russia back into the group's meetings, saying ahead of last year's G-7 summit that "they should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table."

He added on Monday that he thought it would be better for Russia to be included because it would be "better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent."

The pushback over potentially inviting Putin to attend next year's meeting comes as Russia is tangling with senators. Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDemocratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks MORE (R-Wis.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyProspects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Senators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms MORE (D-Conn.) said Russia had refused to give them a visa to visit the country as part of a congressional delegation.