Democratic congressional leaders have come out swinging against the idea of a second meeting between President Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin, warning that it could be dangerous.
“The notion that President Trump would invite a tyrant to Washington is beyond belief,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday. “President Trump’s frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment, and a grave threat to our democracy.”
“Until we know what happened at that two hour meeting in Helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin. In the United States, in Russia, or anywhere else,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer tweeted Thursday.
Until we know what happened at that two hour meeting in Helsinki, @realDonaldTrump should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin. In the United States, in Russia, or anywhere else.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 19, 2018
Trump extended the invitation to Putin after the controversial meeting between the two men earlier this week in Helinski, Finland, which drew heavy backlash even from some of the president’s strongest supporters.
During his joint press conference with Putin, the president initially refused to endorse the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia attempted to alter the results of the 2016 American presidential election, shocking both critics and allies.
The White House and Trump later walked back his initial comment that he did not see any reason Russia would be responsible for election interference.
“What could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russia over those of the United States? Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump,” Schumer said.
Congressional Republicans are not eager to schedule another summit so soon, either. A spokesman for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said there is “no invitation from Congress” to invite Putin to D.C.