Key Democratic lawmakers urge U.S. President Donald Trump to cancel his meeting immediately with Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as the indictment of 12 Russians hackers for meddling inside U.S. election.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va., House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith, D−Wash., 19 Democratic folks the House Foreign Affairs Committee and were among Democrats who said Friday that Trump should out of the home of the one-on-one meeting with the Helsinki summit.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., was among few Republicans to weigh in, saying if the president “is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki must not progress.”
The indictments expose a plot by Putin’s government to weaken American institutions, and despite warnings from military and intelligence leaders, he was quoted saying. He further accused the White House and Congress of taking “insufficient action to boost our cyber defenses, safeguard our election systems, and deter further destabilizing activities.”
The pressure came following the Justice Department announced Friday that indictments were handed down charging Russian intelligence officials with hacking various computers, including in Hillary Clinton’s Campaign and also the Democratic National Committee.
“These indictments are further proof of what everyone nevertheless the president usually understand: President Putin can be an adversary who interfered in our elections to assist President Trump win,” Schumer said as part of his statement.
“President Trump should cancel his choosing Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove which they won’t interfere in the future elections. Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin for the heels of such indictments will be an insult to your democracy.”
In light of today’s indictments, there should be no one-on-one meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin on Monday. There must be Americans inside room. If the President won’t make Russia’s attack on our election the #1 issue on the summit, then it should be canceled.
– Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) July 13, 2018
Reed, earlier inside week, spearheaded a step supporting NATO, which passed 97-2 inside face of Trump’s confronting alliance members over burden sharing at their summit in Brussels . In an interview with MSNBC, Reed said Trump’s attacks on NATO were “doing what Vladimir Putin may be trying to do for quite some time now.”
“In light of this stunning indictment by the Justice Department these Russian conspirators attacked our democracy and were emailing Americans to interfere within our election, President Trump should immediately cancel his selecting Vladimir Putin,” Reed’s Friday statement said.
House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel and also the panel’s other Democrats sent Trump a letter Friday expressing deep concern about the President selecting Putin in light of the accusations in the indictments, that they can called “a direct attack on our democracy.” (Smith and HASC member Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., joined their letter.)
Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who serves about the SASC and Senate Judiciary Commitee, joined the chorus of Democrats who said the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has not been the witch hunt Trump as well as other Republicans have alleged. He also argued the Putin meeting should be cancelled.
“The attack on our democracy was a deliberate, destructive act with the Russian government,” Blumenthal said. “There was no 400-pound hacker on his bed. This criminality was perpetrated and performed by Vladimir Putin’s fellow KGB thugs and intelligence agents working on his behalf – as well as their purpose would have been to aid President Trump’s campaign.”
Cancel the Putin meeting. Now. https://t.co/SqdhVDafH7
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 13, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent an announcement stating that while Trump should still attend the summit, he “must demand and secure an actual, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy.”
House Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., seemed in your firm stand out
Friday, to suggest the indictments would provide Trump with ammunition to talk tough with Putin on the meeting, if he’ll use it, and he challenged his Republican colleagues: “Whose side do you think you’re on? Ours or Putin’s?”
One SASC Republican, Sen. Ben Sasse, reacted with a statement calling for unity against Putin, saying the Russian leader, “is just not the President’s buddy.” He did not call for the meeting to become cancelled.
“The U.S. intelligence community knows the Russian government attacked the U.S. This is just not a Republican or even a Democrat view, it’s simply the fact,” said Sasse, of Nebraska. “All patriotic Americans should realize that Putin is not America’s friend, and that he is not the President’s buddy. We should stand united against Putin’s past and planned future attacks against us.”