Trump-Putin Summit On
President Donald Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin as planned.
“It is Nn,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an e-Mailed response to questions about Monday’s summit in Helsinki.
Some congressional Democrats have urged President Trump to cancel the event, even as some Republicans said the President should use the opportunity to confront Putin firmly about Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, asked whether President Trump should meet 1 on 1 with President Putin, responded by saying that “we know Russia meddled in our elections and we’re glad these hackers are being held to account.” Referring to the DOJ showcase incitements handed out Friday
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) said in a statement that President Trump should “should use today’s indictments to challenge” President Putin at the meeting.
“President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement. “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”
President Trump has repeatedly called the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller a “witch hunt,” and his allies have said the probe should be brought to a quick conclusion.
The announcement that Robert Mueller obtained indictments of the 12 members of Russia’s military intelligence agency, came 3 days before Presidents Trump and Putin are to meet.
The incitements charge that the Russians stole user names and passwords of volunteers in Democrat Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, including its Chairman John Podesta. They also allegedly hacked into the computer network of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in an operation starting around March 2016.
US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday at the Department of Justice (DOJ) that he briefed President Trump on the coming indictments earlier this week.
President Trump said Friday that he will bring up the election interference he speaks with Putin, but that he does not expect an answer.
“I will absolutely, firmly ask the question” about interference in the US election, President Trump said But he predicted Putin would not confess.
“I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me,’ ” Trump said. Referring to a TV courtroom drama aired in the 1950’s and 1960’s that often featured a dramatic, last-minute confession, he added, “There won’t be a Perry Mason here, I don’t think, but you never know what happens, right?”
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