Dem senator warns of possible concessions ahead of Trump-Putin summit

Dem senator warns of possible concessions ahead of Trump-Putin summit
© Greg Nash

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip MORE (D-Del.) expressed concern on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE could offer Russian President Vladimir Putin a number of concessions when the two leaders meet in Helsinki on Monday.

"There’s a menu of things to be concerned about — that he might withdraw American troops from Syria, that he might cancel military exercises with our regional allies, that he might recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea," Coons said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also sought to remind Trump not to treat his upcoming summit with Putin like he would a meeting with a U.S. ally. 

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"He’s not meeting with a competitor, he’s not meet with a potential friend," Coons said. "He’s meeting with an adversary."

Trump said in Brussels on Thursday that Putin was a "competitor," rather than an adversary, adding that the upcoming summit was not "a question of friend or enemy."

"He’s not my enemy," Trump said.

The Delaware Democrat's comments came as Trump prepares to sit down with Putin on Monday for a highly anticipated summit.

The U.S. president has repeatedly expressed a desire to thaw relations with Moscow. But that task has been complicated by the U.S. intelligence community's determination that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and is poised to do the same in the 2018 midterms.

It's also complicated by the ongoing special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in 2016 to boost the real estate mogul's presidential bid.

Trump has dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt."