Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he is willing to give the U.S. House and Senate the written transcripts of the meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, proving that Trump did not reveal any secrets to Lavrov during their meeting last week.
Putin spoke at a news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, when the Russian president joked that Lavrov was wrong not to pass on alleged sensitive information given to the Russian foreign minister by Trump.
"I spoke to him [Lavrov] today," said Putin with a smile. "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."
Trump revealed on Twitter on Tuesday that he had shared "facts" with Lavrov in response to a Monday article in the Washington Post that reported that Trump had shared highly classified information with the Russian foreign minister during a meeting. According to the report, the intelligence was originally gathered by the intelligence services of another country — which The New York Times has subsequently revealed to be Israel — and was shared by Trump without Israeli consent in violation of the intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries. Intelligence officials believe this information endangered intelligence operatives in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, according to the Washington Post.
The information revealed by Trump purportedly pertains to a planned Islamic State attack using laptops aboard airplanes, according to multiple sources. Of particular concern, Trump is reported to have revealed the city from which the intelligence was gathered.
According to CNN, reporter Evan Perez learned the same information Trump shared with the Russians, but Trump administration officials prevailed upon them not to report the story and in particular not to disclose the name of the city where the information was gathered, claiming that doing so would endanger the lives of intelligence sources. As CNN noted, national security adviser H.R. McMaster has conceded that Trump did reveal this specific piece of information to the Russians, but downplayed its significance.
The Trump administration reportedly revealed information to Russians that CNN was asked not to report… https://t.co/D0AE5L5vsa— The Lead CNN (@The Lead CNN)1494965621.0
Putin said that "political schizophrenia" has gripped Washington since the New York Times revealed that according to anonymous sources, Trump may have tried to impede the FBI investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn.
"It's hard to imagine what else can these people who generate such nonsense and rubbish can dream up next," Putin said.
"What surprises me is that they are shaking up the domestic political situation using anti-Russian slogan," Putin continued. "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."
Chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), said that he has sent a letter demanding the FBI hand over any communications between former FBI Director James Comey and Trump, to investigate any potential obstruction of justice with respect to the Flynn investigation.
"I have my subpoena pen ready," Chaffetz tweeted.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in an interview with Fox News' Martha MacCallum that until Congress can look at the memo, and interview Comey, there's nothing that can be done in regards to convicting Trump.
"We’re a long ways from a conviction, the fact is we simply have a headline in the New York Times,” Gowdy said.