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 nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ 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 PompeoTrump administration combining Palestinian mission, Israeli embassy next month: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race The Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration MORE, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Trump nominates ambassador to Turkey MORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsChinese, Iranian hackers escalate cyberattacks against US entities: report Ex-Trump official says intel community's testimony interfered in US-North Korea talks Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? 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 EngelHouse chairmen consult with counsel about ways to get notes from Trump-Putin meetings Cuba says US secretly moving special forces closer to Venezuela House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen MORE (D-N.Y.), Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithTrump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Papering over climate change impacts is indefensible MORE (D-Wash.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' Schiff: 'Hard to imagine a poorer case' than Trump's on emergency declaration 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.”