Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Friday called on President Trump to cancel his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake 12 Russian intelligence officers being charged with conspiring to hack Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy,” Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement less than an hour after Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein detailed the new charges at a midday news conference.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin on Monday in Helsinki. During a joint news conference Friday with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain, Trump told reporters he would raise the issue of Russian interference in the election with Putin but that he doesn’t expect a “Perry Mason” moment, where Putin confesses to meddling.
In his statement, Schumer called the latest indictments from the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III “further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win.”
“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,” Schumer said.
At his news conference, Rosenstein said he had briefed Trump on the new indictments earlier this week.
The 12 individuals indicted were members of Russian military intelligence, known as the GRU, and are accused of engaging in a sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organizations and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign.