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 TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem 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 PutinBiden expresses shock that Trump considers attending Russia May Day event Harris swipes at Trump on Russia: 'Always nice to spend time with supporters on the campaign trail' Trump says he's considering attending Russia's May Day parade MORE to take part in next year's meeting. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election Senate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Isolationism creeps back over America, as the president looks out for himself MORE (D-N.J.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number America's avengers deserve an advocate Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE (D-R.I.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCentrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senator criticizes HHS for not investigating exposure of millions of medical images 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 JohnsonSunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates Rand Paul says Trump has 'every right' to withhold Ukraine aid over corruption Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression' MORE (R-Wis.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.) said Russia had refused to give them a visa to visit the country as part of a congressional delegation.