Donald Trump will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday, July 16, in Helsinki, but Arizona Sen. John McCain is urging Trump to cancel his meeting with Putin unless he’s willing to do one specific thing. According to the Daily Mail, on Friday, McCain praised the efforts of the Justice Department on the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and insisted that President Donald Trump cancel his upcoming summit with the Russian president if he is “not prepared to hold Putin accountable.”
The indicted group has been charged hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign during the 2016 presidential election along with leaking stolen information to the public. The group has also been accused of stealing the personal information of a number of U.S. voters after managing to hack into an election board.
In a series of tweets, McCain said the indictment was the “result of the hard work of America’s law enforcement and intelligence officials who dedicate their lives to bringing to justice those who wish to do us harm.”
He also tweeted his request to Trump saying, “President Trump must be willing to confront #Putin from a position of strength & demonstrate there will be a price to pay for his ongoing aggression. If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the #HelsinkiSummit should not move forward.”
John McCain may have been the only Republican to have spoken out thus far, but he definitely has support on this particular stance from the Democratic Party. Reports from CNBC say that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also commented on the recent indictments by saying, “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.”
Schumer is also suggesting that Trump reconsider his meeting with Putin until the Russians are able to prove there will be no further interference with U.S. elections.
Despite all the “advice” from McCain and the Democrats, it’s highly unlikely that Trump will be canceling his meeting.
The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told NBC News on Friday afternoon that the summit is “still on.” Additionally, there seems to be quite a bit of downplaying coming from the White House regarding the significance of the indictment, it was noted that there were no allegations against members of Trump’s campaign team.
On Tuesday, Trump said that his meeting with Putin “may be the easiest” out of all the other meetings he has scheduled with NATO leaders this week. Then on Friday, he expressed some about of skepticism that the meeting with Putin would actually result in an admission to election meddling.
“I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me,'” Trump said Friday morning before the indictments were announced. “There won’t be a Perry Mason here, I don’t think, but you never know what happens, right?”