- Carlos Barria/Reuters
- Several members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are calling on President Donald Trump to consider canceling his summit in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for next week.
- The calls came after a new indictment in the Russia investigation was announced on Friday.
- “If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward,” Sen. John McCain said.
- 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.
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.
“There should be no one-on-one meeting between this President and Mr. Putin,” Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner says following the latest Mueller indictments. “There needs to be other Americans in the room” https://t.co/RCB7YFOSv1
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 13, 2018
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.