Cancel the Putin meeting, Mr. President

I’ll weigh in with millions of other Americans who believe Donald Trump needs to call off his meeting next week in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin.

Don’t go there, Mr. President.

Here’s the deal. The special counsel has just indicted a dozen Russian military and intelligence officers for conspiring to meddle in our 2016 presidential election. Every high-level spook worth a damn says the same thing: The Russians sought to influence the election outcome; they hacked into Democrats’ computer systems and they attacked our electoral process.

So now the president wants to meet with Putin with no obvious agenda on the table. What is the purpose of this meeting? We don’t know. We do know that there is a gigantic elephant in the room: the meddling and now the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump said he intends to bring the meddling up with Putin. Then he said “don’t expect anything” to come from it. The president doesn’t anticipate a “Perry Mason” moment where Putin admits to the meddling and pleads for mercy.

Trump’s campaign pledge to talk tough with other world leaders has wilted like a flower in the heat when it comes to Putin. He hasn’t challenged Putin any meaningful, tangible, demonstrable way for the manner in which he attacked our electoral system.

The longer he plays nice with Putin and the more he resists taking him to task directly and forcefully, the more culpable Trump looks to the rest of the world.

The meeting with Putin lacks the earmarks of an established agenda with goals clearly lined out. From all appearances, this meeting — on the heels of the NATO meeting — looks like another opportunity for Trump to grovel at Putin’s feet.

The indictments handed down by Mueller in his ongoing search for the truth about potential Russian collusion and obstruction of justice have made such a meeting a non-starter.

Call it off, Mr. President! Return home and start developing a strategy — for once — on how you intend to defend our system against future attacks from hostile powers … such as Russia!

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