A new indictment accusing Russian intelligence officers of hacking Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election has increased pressure on President Donald Trump to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two meet in Helsinki on Monday for their first summit.
The new charges have also spurred a growing number of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to call for Trump to cancel the meeting. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told NBC News on Friday that the summit "was still on."
“I hope it’s high noon in Helsinki,” John Carlin, former chief of staff and senior counsel to special counsel Robert Mueller, said Friday on CNBC’s "Power Lunch." "This is a faceoff between the leader of the free world and Putin’s Russia, who’s been determined to undermine democracy."
Mueller announced a slew of new charges against Russian nationals Friday for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 election.
The timing of the announcement raised questions about whether it will impact the president's overseas diplomacy. Trump was in England meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at the moment Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released the news, and the president had participated in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May just prior.