Congress to Trump: Cancel Putin summit after new Mueller indictment

Some in Congress are calling on President Donald Trump to cancel his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin following a Friday indictment resulting from the Russia investigation.

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on Friday called on President Donald Trump to consider canceling his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin set for next week in Finland following a new indictment in the Russia investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with the hacking of Democratic Party institutions and Hillary Clinton’s campaign before the 2016 presidential election.

In the wake of the indictment, Republican Sen. John McCain said in a statement that Trump “must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world.”

“If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward,” he added.

Similarly, Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Trump should cancel the one-on-one meeting.

“If the President won’t make Russia’s attack on our election the #1 issue at the summit, then it should be canceled,” Warner tweeted.

Other Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, issued similar statements.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Friday that the summit was still moving forward and there were no plans to cancel it. The White House didn’t respond to a request for further comment on whether Trump would address the indictment when he meets with Putin.

Earlier Friday, Trump said he would question Putin about Russia’s election meddling when the two meet in Helsinki.

But he later referred to the Russia investigation as “rigged” and a “witch hunt,” despite Rosenstein saying he briefed the president on the developments earlier in the week.

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