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John McCain: If Trump’s ‘Not Prepared to Hold Putin Accountable,’ Summit Should Be Called Off

On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) weighed in on the indictment of 12 Russian intel officers for election hacking and called for the summit to be pulled off if President Donald Trump is “not prepared to hold Putin accountable.”

Just one day ago, McCain tweeted out this regarding the Helsinki summit: “As all eyes turn to , must reverse his disturbing tendency to show America’s adversaries the deference & esteem that should be reserved for our allies. He must be strong with & show willingness to defend the US & our allies against those who threaten us.”

And after the news broke of the indictment of the Russian intel officers, McCain issued a stronger statement making it clear that “if President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”

“Today’s indictment is a result of the hard work of America’s law enforcement and intelligence officials who dedicate their lives to bringing to justice those who wish to do us harm. These revelations add to a body of evidence confirming an extensive plot by Vladimir Putin’s government to attack the 2016 election, sow chaos and dissension among the American electorate, and undermine faith in our democracy. And despite repeated warnings from our nation’s top intelligence and military leaders, the Kremlin’s efforts to weaken our institutions have continued unabated with insufficient action taken by the administration or Congress to strengthen our cyber defenses, safeguard our election systems, and deter further destabilizing activities.

“President Trump must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world. If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”

McCain’s statement comes on the same day as a number of top Democrats have also called for the Helsinki summit to be nixed or, in the words of Sen. Chuck Schumer, should not be a one-on-one with Putin and Trump alone.

According to a Bloomberg News report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has made it clear the Trump-Putin show will go on.

[image via screengrab]