- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2018

The head of the Democratic National Committee on Friday joined calls for President Trump to cancel a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin following the indictment of 12 Russians for hacking.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez said it “defies logic that Putin did not know of this” and said that Mr. Trump’s attempts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election — which led to the new charges announced Friday against Russian intelligence officers — has hurt the nation.

“President Trump should absolutely cancel this meeting with Putin,” Mr. Perez said. “Putin is not a friend of democracy. He is not a friend of the United States and the president should have never taken this meeting to begin with.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin were slated to meet over the coming days in Finland.

“If he does do this meeting he should do nothing less than hand Putin these indictments and the previous indictments and demand immediate extradition of all the individuals,” Mr. Perez said.

The 12 Russian officials have been charged with hacking into the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Mr. Perez said the “chilling” reality is that the Russian officials indicted had access to the highest levels of the Russian government.

“It defies logic that Putin did not know of this and that Putin did not approve of it,” he said. “The American people deserve to know the truth and the special counsel’s investigation is doing just that.”

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