Putin: I Can Give Congress Records Of Trump’s Talk With Lavrov
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he is prepared to hand over records of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian officials earlier in May.
The Russian leader announced that he can provide the House and Senate with transcripts of a conversation between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, reports Reuters. Trump is alleged to have shared highly sensitive intelligence about an ISIS plot to attack commercial aviation during the talks.
Putin told reporters that he wasn’t aware of any state secrets revealed in the the meeting, joking that his foreign minister would have to be punished for not reporting the valuable intelligence he allegedly received from Trump.
“I spoke to him [Lavrov] today,” he said at a news conference in Sochi. “I’ll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us. Not with me, nor with representatives of Russia’s intelligence services. It was very bad of him.”
Putin offered to provide the transcript in order reassure U.S. lawmakers that no sensitive intelligence had been improperly shared with Russia. Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov later told reporters that Moscow has a written record of the conversation, not an audio recording, reports Reuters.
Some U.S. intelligence officials believe the disclosures may have endangered a key source involved with the fight against ISIS, according to a Washington Post report that was confirmed by the The New York Times Monday evening. (RELATED: Former Senior Intel Officer: If There’s An ISIS ‘Mole Hunt,’ It’s Because Of The Leakers Running To The Press)
The Trump administration has denied accusations that the intelligence sharing was improper. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster called the WaPo report “false” and told reporters Tuesday that the president’s conversation with Lavrov was “wholly appropriate.”
Putin said Wednesday that “political schizophrenia” has gripped Washington following revelations about Trump’s intelligence disclosure and subsequent reports that the president encouraged then-FBI director James Comey to close the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. He accused U.S. leaders of trying to stoke anti-Russian sentiment and drive a wedge between Washington and Moscow for political purposes.
“Either they don’t understand the damage they’re doing to their own country, in which case they are simply stupid, or they understand everything, in which case they are dangerous and corrupt,” Putin said.
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