The White House is rejecting calls from leading members of Congress to cancel a U.S.-Russian presidential summit in the wake of indictments that for the first time charge the Russian government with directly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
The indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers on July 13 for allegedly hacking and releasing thousands of documents and e-mails that were damaging to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent came a scant three days before Trump’s scheduled summit with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
The sweeping indictments — exposing an alleged conspiracy at high levels of the Russian government to harm Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s election prospects through embarrassing and widely publicized leaks through WikiLeaks weeks before the election — have elicited calls from many congressional Democrats as well as prominent Republicans to cancel the summit. . . .
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders rejected those calls, saying the summit “is on” and stressing that the indictments do not charge any Trump campaign officials or other Americans with involvement in the alleged election-meddling conspiracy.