Dems request briefing on Trump's private meeting with Putin

Dems request briefing on Trump's private meeting with Putin
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A trio of top Democrats is requesting administration officials brief their committees by noon Thursday on what happened in President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE’s private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The ranking members of the House Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence committees on Tuesday made the request in a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Graham knocks South Korea over summit with North Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report MORE, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Mattis dismisses reports of his exit: 'I love it here' Publisher says Woodward book sales largest in its history MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal MORE.

“Democrats and Republicans alike were shocked to watch President Trump publicly side with Russia over its responsibility for interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections and directly contradict the Intelligence Community’s assessment,” Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelState Department: Allegations of racism 'disgusting and false' The stakes are sky-high for the pro-life cause in the upcoming midterms Overnight Defense: Trump tells veterans he will 'stand up for America' | McConnell, Ryan say Putin not welcome on Capitol Hill | Mattis tries to explain Trump's Iran tweet MORE (D-N.Y.), Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Dems introduce bill to ban low-yield nukes Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen MORE (D-Wash.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe MORE (D-Calif.) wrote in the letter.

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“But we also have profound concerns over what was said privately and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss with each of you the national security matters that were discussed, including Russia; its illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea; ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine; ongoing sanctions policy towards Russia; Syria; the U.S. commitment to NATO and Article 5; counterterrorism cooperation; strategic stability and arms control; and China.”

Trump’s summit with Putin in Helsinki last week started with a private meeting in which the only other people in the room were each leader’s interpreter.

Pompeo is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he is expected be grilled about what happened at the summit.

U.S. officials have so far said little on what happened in that meeting. But Moscow has released several statements, including that the leaders agreed on military cooperation in Syria.

Last week, Coats told an audience at the Aspen Security Forum that, “I don't know what happened in that meeting.”

On Tuesday, Mattis said the U.S. military has not changed its stance on Russian forces in Syria.

In their letter, the lawmakers noted that Cabinet officials appear not to have been briefed on the meeting and said Congress must be informed of any potential deals. 

“Since the meeting, Congress has received no notification from the White House or Executive Branch about the topics of the meeting or any purported deals or agreements reached on behalf of the United States,” they wrote. “It also appears that President Trump’s cabinet has not been briefed on the private meeting, and Congress must be made aware of some of the potential deals or agreements that Russia claims were struck.”