Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied of any reports that Trump shared any classified information with Russian officials, while Putin offered to provide a transcript of a controversial Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, raising the stakes in an affair that has sent the White House into a tailspin.
Speaking at a press conference in Sochi, Russia, Putin dismissed allegations that Trump had shared top-secret security intelligence with Russian diplomats as “political schizophrenia.”
“If the US administration finds it necessary, we are ready to provide the record of the conversation between Trump and Lavrov to the Senate and Congress,” Putin said.
The intervention by Putin could turn up the pressure on the White House to provide its own transcript of the meeting. The Senate intelligence committee has already demanded a briefing on what was said at the meeting from members of the Trump administration who were present.
The episode is the latest woe for Trump, whose administration is engulfed in a series of scandals linked to Russia. His meeting with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak came a day after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, the man leading an investigation into contentious links between members of the President’s campaign team and Russia.
Trump has admitted sharing security information on terrorism and aviation safety with the Russians, saying he had the “absolute right” to do so, but the White House has not confirmed or denied whether that information was classified.
The Washington Post first reported the allegations on Monday, saying that Trump described details to Lavrov and Kislyak about how ISIS hopes to use laptop computers as bombs on planes.
It reported that an official with knowledge of the meeting described Trump as saying: “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” just before revealing the intelligence. Two sources told CNN that the information was classified.
According to US and diplomatic officials, Israeli intelligence was a source for some of the information about ISIS bomb-making capabilities.
Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak came as the White House deals with a series of scandals linking members of Trump’s team with Russia. The FBI has confirmed it is investigating these links.