US Senate rebuffs Putin's proposal to question ex-US envoy with 98-0 vote

Xinhua
US Senate just rebuffed a proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to question US citizens, including an ex-US ambassador to Russia, with a 98-0 vote on Thursday.
Xinhua
Reuters

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters at the Capitol as fallout continued over US President Donald Trump's Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Washington, US, on July 17, 2018. 

US Senate just rebuffed a proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to question US citizens, including an ex-US ambassador to Russia, with a 98-0 vote on Thursday.

The Senate's resolution to go on record against allowing Russia to interrogate Americans, including former US Ambassador Michael McFaul, came despite the White House's earlier statement not to accept Putin's request.

Ahead of the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly called on President Donald Trump to personally reject Putin's proposal.

"Let this resolution be a warning to the administration that Congress will not allow this to happen," Schumer was quoted by US media as saying. "I call on President Trump to say once and for all not through his spokespeople that the lopsided disgraceful trade he called an 'incredible offer' is now off the table."

Schumer added it was "neither the policy nor the practice of the United States to submit our citizens, let alone our ambassadors to a foreign adversary."

Shortly before the voting, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the proposal was made "in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it."

She added that "hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt," referring to the 12 Russians indicted by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller on July 13 for allegedly interfering with the US 2016 presidential elections.

Also on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied the Russian request, saying "the administration is not gonna send, force Americans to travel to Russia to be interrogated by Vladimir Putin and his team."

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