04/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Schumer Proposed Russian Deal To Bush In 2008

A little less than a year before President Obama reportedly sent a secret letter to Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev, offering to forgo an anti-missile shield if Russia would help prevent Iran from building long-range missiles and nuclear warheads, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) pushed the same idea to his predecessor.

At the White House in the spring of 2008, Schumer personally urged President Bush and Vice President Cheney to pursue such a deal, spokesman Brian Fallon said. He was rebuffed.

Schumer followed the meeting with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in June 2008, laying out the case for such an arrangement.

"[W]e should tell Mr. Putin we will cease building the ineffective antinuclear missile defense sites in Eastern Europe in return for him joining the boycott," Schumer wrote.

"It is our best hope to avoid a nuclear Iran, because a successful economic boycott would certainly force the Iranian regime to heed Western demands more than anything attempted so far."