Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday called Russian President Vladimir Putin “essentially an unindicted co-conspirator” in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The congressman’s remarks come one day before President Donald Trump is set to meet one-on-one with the Russian leader in Helsinki.
“And not just any co-conspirator,” Schiff continued. “He’s the ringmaster of this conspiracy, and he’s going to be sitting down at the table with Donald Trump.”
The Trump-Putin get-together also follows special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian military officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential race — charges Schiff said the Helsinki meeting undermines.
“Trump is basically saying that indictment is just a witch hunt. And that’s a great gift for Vladimir Putin,” Schiff said. “So, I think if Kim Jong Un can eat the president’s lunch, which I think he clearly did, it will be a very easy matter for Vladimir Putin.”