Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

United States indicts Russian intel officers ahead of Trump-Putin meet

United States indicts Russian intel officers ahead of Trump-Putin meet

Democratic senators are calling for U.S. President Donald Trump to cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced 12 Russian intelligence officers have been indicted in the election meddling investigation.

"The goal of this "information attack" is obviously to spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit", the ministry said in a statement, referring to the forthcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. leader Donald Trump.

"Trump has maybe a little less room to manoeuvre if he wants to downplay the issue or pretend that it's not real", said Jeffrey Mankoff, a Russian Federation expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. "President Trump must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy".

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, July 12, 2018.

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He also argued that USA laws on immigration are too weak and said, "We have laws that are so bad I don't even call them laws". Asked if Johnson could be in No 10, Downing Street one day, he replied: "Well I am not pitting one against the other".

Zeke Miller, Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin cover the White House for The Associated Press.

In an interview on Capitol Hill, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the Senate Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat, said the meeting should not be one-on-one.

After German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at US President Donald Trump for taunting Germany as "Russia's captive" for its alleged overdependence on Moscow for energy saying Berlin took its independent decisions, the Kremlin also lashed out at the American president over the same, saying Trump said so to bully Europe into buying its own energy, Reuters reported.

"You can only ask so many times", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One after the meeting.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she supported Schumer's call to cancel the summit. Sen. Senator Tammy Duckworth, the representative of Illinois Democrats, stated that the US had to apply the force of the American sanctions against Russia and impose them on broader sectors of the Russian economy.

"Even with today's news, we can expect Trump to raise Putin's attack on our democracy in a passing, perfunctory way before again taking - or at least claiming to take - Putin's denials at face value", said Ned Price, a former national security council spokesman for President Barack Obama.

The charges come as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election. The New Jersey Democrat, a member of the Senate's foreign relations and judiciary committees, is considered a potential contender for his party's presidential nomination in 2020. "I'm sure he won't".

He said those who criticized Trump's June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should understand that issues such as the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula "cannot be done overnight".

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Lavrov also said Russia is "ready to answer any questions" regarding the alleged involvement of Russian military intelligence officers in the hacking of Democratic Party computers during the 2016 US presidential campaign. "It's time for him to put on his big boy trousers and push back against Russia", California Rep. John Garamendi said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room".

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