After previously creating confusion surrounding the issue, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said President Donald Trump “disagrees” with a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the interrogation of Americans with ties to financier Bill Browder.
Putin offered during his meeting with Trump on Monday to allow members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to interrogate twelve Russian intelligence officials accused of attempting to interfere in the 2016 election in exchange for the U.S. allowing Russia to interrogate Americans suspected of criminal activity.
Trump called the idea an “incredible offer” during his press conference with Putin, and Sanders indicated Wednesday the president would “meet with his team” about the proposal.
With the proposal facing considerable criticism from both sides of the aisle, however, the White House has now rejected the offer.
“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.
She added, “Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”
The Russians had reportedly been seeking to interrogate eleven Americans, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
The statement from Sanders was released shortly before the Senate was due to vote on a non-binding resolution ruling out turning over American public servants to Russia.
The resolution, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., states the U.S. should “refuse to make available any current or former diplomat, civil servant, political appointee, law enforcement official, or member of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin.”
Browder, who has lobbied heavily against the Russian government, told CNN handing him over to Putin is “basically to hand me over to my death.”
by RTTNews Staff Writer
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