Washington – Worried democrats have asked Donald Trump not to wing it alone with veteran KGB chief Vladimir Putin.
They are asking for the presence of other American experts with Trump and Putin when the pair meet in Helsinki on Monday.
The letter by prominent democrats shows the distrust the representatives have about Trump’s ability to take on Putin. Trump is fresh from making a mess at the Canadian G7 meeting, trashing UK PM May in a newspaper interview and then doing a 360-turn and saying Germany was controlled by Russia because of its gas imports.
His erratic behaviour with allies and his love-affair with Putin is disturbing for democrats who don’t trust his ability to deal with Putin on the extraordinary assault on US democracy by army intelligence officers who have been indicted for interfering and hacking the US democratic process.
The meeting comes on the heels of a grand jury indictment of 12 members of Russian army intelligence unit who attempted to disrupt the last US election. The elite army unit would not have carried out the operation with Kremlin backing, authorities believe.
However, Trump has said he’ll ask Putin if he did interfere in the US election and tell him not to do it again.
In the letter, the democrats say that Putin will come well prepared for his summit meeting.
“As the Kremlin said last week, a one-on-one meeting with you ‘absolutely suits’ him. There must be other Americans in the room,” said minority leader Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy who were among eight who signed the warning.
“Our intelligence leaders unanimously assess that Mr. Putin will continue to try to interfere in upcoming U.S. elections,” they said. “Russia continues to undermine NATO, European solidarity, and Western institutions and norms.”
If the democrats are worried about Russians undermining western solidarity, the US president has done the same during G7, NATO meetings and by starting a trade war with US allies, including Canada who he thinks is a national security threat to the U.S.