Top GOP senator: Trump should be 'clear-eyed' going into meeting with Putin

Top GOP senator: Trump should be 'clear-eyed' going into meeting with Putin
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday that he believes it’s useful for world leaders to meet and work together, but cautioned that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE should “be clear-eyed” about his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that it would be “counterproductive” for Trump to ignore the possibility of sitting down with Putin.

“On the other hand, I think the president should be clear-eyed about who he’s dealing with,” he added.

Cornyn said Putin “doesn’t respect our democracy” and “wants to undermine our democracy every chance he gets.”


He noted the U.S. and Russia have some common interests, including fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

The summit comes just days after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE handed down indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers, alleging they interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. Mueller charged 11 of the officers with conspiring to hack into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) 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 drawn criticism for being reluctant at times to speak out against Putin and Russia, particularly for its role in meddling in the 2016 election. In the aftermath of the latest indictments, Trump has pinned blame on the Obama administration and the DNC for allowing the hacks to take place.

Trump has said he may ask Putin about extraditing the 12 Russian officials during their meeting on Monday.

"I hadn't thought of that. But I certainly, I'll be asking about it. But again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration," Trump said in a CBS News interview broadcast early Sunday