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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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) Swan MuellerGraham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller 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."