List Of The Democrats’ Worst Fears For The Trump-Putin Meeting
In light of the indictments against 12 Russian military intelligence agency officials, top Democrats have penned an urgent letter to Trump, warning him of potential pitfalls. The Russians have been accused of hacking into emails and DNC computer networks, in a bid to work against Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Here are the Democrats’ worst fears for the Trump-Putin meeting, scheduled for Monday, July 16, in Helsinki, Finland. These were highlighted in a letter to Trump penned by top Democrats, detailed Bloomberg.
The Meeting Taking Place As Planned
Democrats do not want the meeting to take place at all. In fact, they would like the president to cancel the entire meeting, considering the serious allegations being levied against Russian officials.
However, press secretary Sarah Sanders has already confirmed that “It’s on.”
Trump Won’t Condemn Russian Meddling In U.S. Elections
Trump has said that “I will absolutely, firmly ask the question” about election meddling. However, he also added that “I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me,’… There won’t be a Perry Mason here, I don’t think, but you never know what happens, right?”
For Democrats, simply asking Putin about the election meddling is not enough. They want Trump to make it clear that he knows that the Russians had a part in election meddling, and want Trump to take a hard stance against Russia to dissuade election meddling in the future.
For now, the White House appears to be taking a hands-off approach, as it has yet to criticize Russia for the alleged election meddling.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 15, 2018
Putin Taking Advantage Of Trump
Trump has made it clear that he thinks the meeting with Putin will be the “easiest” out of all of his meetings with important politicians during his trip to Europe, reported Newsweek. This comment has agitated Democrats, who believe that Putin will be prepared and thus could take advantage of Trump, who tends to “wing” meetings. In fact, the letter asks Trump not “wing it on your own.”
In anticipation, Democrats have called for Trump to hold the meeting, not one-on-one with Putin, but with other American officials present. The letter states that lawmakers “do not have confidence that you can faithfully negotiate with the Russian leader” considering the president’s “constant expressions of sympathy for Vladimir Putin.”
Is the purpose of the meeting between Trump and Putin to discuss arms control? Syria? Ukraine? To rehash the 2016 election? Remarkably, it’s not clear, and that in and of itself marks this as a most unusual summit. https://t.co/AL89MDXFkb
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) July 14, 2018
Trump To ‘Walk Into The Open Embrace Of Putin’
Not only are there fears that Putin is going to take advantage of Trump, some believe that he will “walk into the open embrace of Putin,” according to Joel Rubin, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Obama. Rubin points to Trump’s behavior at NATO as a reason to worry.
Moreover, foreign policy expert David Rothkopf said that “Trump could show up empty handed. Putin is still going to give him a big hug,” reported The Hill.