'Cancel your ridiculous Putin summit,' Democrats tell Trump on Twitter

Trump is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin - who has denied election meddling - in Helsinki on Monday for a summit that includes a one-on-one meeting with only interpreters present.

"President Trump must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world", the senator said.

Eighteen Democratic members of the House Foreign Affairs panel urged Trump in a letter to cancel the meeting, saying that "due to your constant expressions of sympathy for Vladimir Putin" the lawmakers "do not have confidence that you can faithfully negotiate with the Russian leader".

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.

Two Foreign Affairs Democrats, ranking member Eliot L. Engel of NY and Ted Lieu of California, joined House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, Rep.

Sen. Mark Warner, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, offered Trump an ultimatum for the highly anticipated summit: make Russian interference a priority, or cancel the meeting.

Earlier Friday during a press conference overseas with his British counterpart, Trump vowed to press Putin about his government's interference in the 2016 American election - though he appeared to leave open, as always, the possibility that he won't.

"I will absolutely bring that up".

Then he quipped: 'There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think.

'I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relations with Russia, ' Trump said.

But less than three hours later, the California Democrat joined the chorus of party members calling for the meeting to be canceled.

Sen. John McCain said Friday that the U.S. -Russia summit in Helsinki "should not move forward" unless President Trump is willing to hold Russian Federation accountable for political meddling.

"Today's indictment is a result of the hard work of America's law enforcement and intelligence officials who dedicate their lives to bringing to justice those who wish to do us harm", McCain, who has been sidelined while battling cancer, said in a statement. "I'm pleased that the Justice Department is following the facts wherever they may lead, despite Donald Trump's risky distortions and his refusal to acknowledge the conclusions reached by the American intelligence community".

The White House echoed some of those sentiments. "This is consistent with what we have been saying all along".

The White House didn't respond to a request for further comment on whether Trump would address the indictments when he meets with Putin.