Larsen: Trump Should Cancel Summit with Putin

Jul 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in advance of President Trump’s planned meeting with President Putin in Helsinki on July 16:

“U.S. presidents have long met with their Russian counterparts to assert vital national interests and I support diplomatic engagement with Russia. The list of serious foreign policy issues to address with President Putin is long: Russian interference in the 2016 election, illegal annexation of Crimea, occupation of eastern Ukraine, support for a coup attempt in Montenegro, chemical attacks in the United Kingdom and more.

“These outrageous issues merit hard-nosed confrontation. If I were confident in the president’s ability to deliver a forceful rebuke to President Putin I would strongly support their upcoming meeting. But, the president has repeatedly denied Russian interference in the 2016 election, hinted at recognizing the occupation of Crimea and generally treated President Putin with the utmost deference. I do not expect a change in President Trump’s behavior. He will continue to give friends and allies the cold shoulder while a dictator gets a warm embrace.

“No president should meet with a foreign leader unless they are capable of standing up for the United States. For this reason, President Trump should cancel his upcoming summit with President Putin.”