Bolton: It's 'silly' for Trump to demand extradition of Russian intelligence officers

Bolton: It's 'silly' for Trump to demand extradition of Russian intelligence officers
© Greg Nash

National security adviser John Bolton said Sunday it's "pretty silly" for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE to demand Russia extradite the 12 intelligence officials charged with conspiring to hack into U.S. systems during the 2016 elections.

Bolton indicated on ABC's "This Week" that Trump is unlikely to seriously broach the subject when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki, because Moscow would be unlikely to agree to it.

"It’s pretty silly for the president to demand something that he can’t get legally. And this is a very serious matter," Bolton said.


"The Russians take the position, you can like it or not like it, that their constitution forbids them to extradite Russian citizens," he continued. "They have an agreement with the Europeans that looks a lot like an extradition treaty. Europeans, frequently, tried to use that to get the Russians to extradite their nationals and they flat out refused to do it."

Bolton added that he expects the Department of Justice will attempt to pursue "normal channels that it can to try to bring these people to trial."

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE handed down indictments on Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers, alleging they interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Mueller charged 11 of the officers with conspiring to hack into the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee networks. The other officer was charged with conspiring to hack into election systems, including a state elections board website.

Trump has declined to condemn Putin in the wake of the indictments, instead casting blame on the Obama administration for failing to implement a more aggressive response.

Asked by CBS News's Jeff Glor if he would ask Putin to extradite the 12 Russian officers, Trump said he "hadn't thought of that."

"But I certainly, I'll be asking about it," Trump said. "But again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration."