The Russian foreign ministry has reacted to the Department of Justice’s indictment of 12 Russian officials in election meddling by accusing Mueller of trying to “spoil the atmosphere” before the Helsinki summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It is regrettable that the duplication of false information in Washington has become the norm, and criminal cases are worked up for obvious political reasons. The question remains: how long will they continue to break this shameful comedy that disgraces the US,” the Russian statement, obtained by CNN, read.
The announcement of the indictments came at the same time as Trump arrived for his much-anticipated meeting with Queen Elizabeth II during his London visit.
In response to the indictments, lawmakers — including Sen. John McCain (R-Az) — have called for the summit to be called off, especially if Trump is not willing to take Putin to task for the Russian meddling.
“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,” McCain said in statement issued on Friday. “If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”
Despite the backlash, the summit is still scheduled, as planned, for Monday in Finland.
[image via screengrab]