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Putin Summit Still on as McCain, Dems Urge Cancellation

14 July 2018

Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted on charges they hacked into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election and released stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls, the Justice Department said Friday.

According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, however, the summit is "still on" despite calls that it be cancelled. "There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think, but you never know what happens, right?"

The U.S. intelligence community knows that the Russian government attacked the U.S. This is not a Republican or a Democrat view - it is simply the reality.

Speaking during a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May Friday, President Donald Trump vowed to confront Russia President Vladimir Putin about Kremlin efforts to influence USA elections.

Republican members were mostly mum about Friday's new indictments.

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Trump has repeatedly called the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller a "witch hunt", and some of his allies have said the probe should be brought to a quick conclusion.

The indictments come just days before the president is scheduled to hold a summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Asked at the end of the press conference whether he would tell Putin to stay out of USA elections, Trump responded simply: 'Yes'. "But I'll very firmly ask the question".

"President Trump's continued refusal to condemn the Russians' attacks on our democracy, even after Special Counsel Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for interfering in the 2016 election, makes it clear that meeting with Putin would be both pointless and risky", Pelosi said.

So how does Rosenberg advise President Trump to approach his upcoming meeting with Putin?

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Based on his track record, some Democrats said they weren't sure whether Trump should be trusted to hold talks with Putin.

Hours before the Justice Department announcement, Trump complained anew that the special counsel's investigation is complicating his efforts to forge a better working relationship with Russian Federation. After meeting with the Russian leader in November 2017, Trump said of Russia's meddling, "Every time he sees me he says, 'I didn't do that, ' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it".

Other Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent out a statement shortly after, saying that while Trump should still attend the summit, he "must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy".

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