On Thursday, the Senate unanimously voted a resolution prohibiting President Donald Trump from allowing the Russian government to question U.S. diplomats and other officials.
According to Politico, this comes 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 and Democratic Senators Bob Menendez, Dick Durbin and Brian Schatz.
“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 before the vote.
The resolution comes at a time when there is a wave of frustration in the Senate over Trump’s friendliness toward Moscow.
The possibility that Trump considers allowing Russia to question U.S. officials is one of the top media stories since the summit in Helsinki.
Putin, during the press conference with Trump on Monday, stated 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.
However, Sanders on Thursday released a statement backtracking on the proposed arrangement.
“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it. Hopefully, President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt,” she said in her statement.