Speaking at a press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Sochi, Russia, Vladimir Putin has claimed that he has a transcript of Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Furthermore, Putin said he would be willing to provide a copy to the U.S. Congress. The only catch is that the request would have to come from Trump himself.
The Trump administration came under fire for holding a meeting with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office last week, a meeting that Russian media were able to attend, yet from which U.S. media were banned. The situation came to a head when it became clear that Trump had disclosed confidential details pertaining to ISIS during the session. Initially, the White House denied the scandal, only to later claim that it was “wholly appropriate” for the president to discuss such information with the Russians.
“At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the President did not disclose any military operations that weren’t already publicly known,” Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at a press conference on Monday. “The premise of that article is false that in any way the President had a conversation that was inappropriate or that resulted in any kind of lapse in national security.”
The Kremlin still denies that Trump shared any U.S. intelligence during the meeting, with Russian President Vladimir Putin downplaying reports as “political Schizophrenia,” however, Trump’s comments still have not been made public. Now it seems Putin is willing to go a step further to help out.
“If the administration of the United States deems this possible, we will be ready to provide a transcript of the Lavrov-Trump meeting to the U.S. Senate and Congress,” Putin told reporters during the press conference in Sochi, adding “it will happen if the U.S. administration wishes so.”
Not everyone sees Putin’s offer as particularly beneficial to Trump, who the FBI has now confirmed is under investigation over links to the Russians, especially U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
“Probably the last person the person [Trump] needs to vouch for him right now is Vladimir Putin,” Schiff told CBS’s This Morning. “Sure, send it [the transcript] our way. But its credibility would be less than zero.”
Featured image via Lintao Zhang/Pool/Getty Images