Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain urged President Donald Trump to cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin unless he “is willing to confront Putin from a position of strength.”
“President 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,” a press release from McCain’s stated in light of special council Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian hackers.
“Despite repeated warnings from our nation’s top intelligence and military leaders, the Kremlin’s efforts to weaken our institutions have continued unabated with insufficient action taken by the administration or Congress to strengthen our cyber defenses, safeguard our election systems, and deter further destabilizing activities,” the press release stated. (RELATED: Rod Rosenstein Highlights ‘The Grace, Dignity And Unity Of The American People’ In Press Conference)
McCain is one of several members of Congress who urged Trump to cancel the Helsinki meeting with Putin. A group of 18 House Committee on Foreign Affairs Democrats wrote a letter to Trump on Friday telling him to cancel the July 16 meeting, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Friday.
The pushback against the meeting comes after assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced charges Friday against 12 Russian nationals for hacking into the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hilary Clinton campaign servers.
The Russians were affiliated with the GRU, or the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian general staff.
McCain has been a vocal critic of Trump’s relationship with Putin, especially when Trump congratulated Putin on winning the Russian presidential election.
“An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections,” McCain said in March 2018.
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