Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials (The Hill link): The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution warning President Trump not to let the Russian government question diplomats and other officials, shortly after the White House released a statement backpedaling on a proposal to allow Moscow to help interrogate U.S. citizens such as former Ambassador Michael McFaul. Senators voted 98-0 on the resolution spearheaded by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez (N.J.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Brian Schatz (HI).
“That President Trump would even consider handing over a former U.S. ambassador to Putin and his cronies for interrogation is bewildering. …This body must agree on the importance of protecting our ambassadors. We should pass it today, not wait, not show any equivocation,” Schumer said ahead of the vote, which was scheduled before the White House backtracked.
The nonbinding resolution comes amid growing frustration in the Senate over the White House's warmer stance toward Moscow, especially after the joint summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump earlier this week.
The potential that Trump could allow Russia to question U.S. officials had been in the headlines since the summit in Helsinki.
Putin said during a press conference with Trump on Monday that the Kremlin would permit special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to travel to Russia and attend the questioning of 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted in the probe, if Russia is allowed to help interrogate some people “who have something to do with illegal actions in the territory of Russia.”
The White House initially refused to shoot down the proposal. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that Trump was “gonna meet with his team” to talk about the potential for Russian officials to question U.S. citizens.
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