Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Putin offers to provide transcript of meeting with Trump

Putin offers to provide transcript of meeting with Trump

Putin's offer set off alarm bells for many who've been watching the case, as what NPR's Lucian Kim referred to as an offer of a transcript was also translated as an offer of a "record" or "recording" - feeding speculation over Russia's own intelligence-gathering that centers on the U.S.

Putin tried to convince reporters that U.S. President Donald Trump had not shared any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials.

The provocative offer to share evidence with U.S. oversight committees about the Oval Office meeting came with the caveat that the request for the transcript would have to come from the Trump administration.

"What surprises me is that they are shaking up the domestic political situation using anti-Russian slogans", Mr Putin said.

In January, the Trump White House initially denied any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. Putin even suggested that Russian Federation share the records of last week's talks between Trump and Lavrov with the U.S. Congress, if the White House approved.

Defending Trump's actions, officials played down the importance and secrecy of the information, which had been supplied by Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement, and Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation.

We're talking a transcript here.

Mr Putin's comments came after Israeli officials on Wednesday sought to downplay any damage caused by Mr Trump's disclosure of classified information to Russian Federation.

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From Moscow, Lucian Kim reports that Putin also said that it's up to the American people, not Russian Federation, to assess Trump's performance. "I'll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us".

"If true, these memoranda raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede the FBI's investigation as it relates to Lieutenant General Flynn", wrote committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", the president told Mr Comey, according to accounts of the memo. Flynn offered to testify to Congress in return for immunity from prosecution but his offer was turned down by the House intelligence committee. "I think it's far worse to not tell one of our allies if we have security information than the risks of it getting into the wrong hands through President Trump".

Did the White House record the conversation too?

In a letter to acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe, the Senate Oversight Committee demanded that all memos and other documents or recordings relating to communications between Trump and Comey be turned over by May 24.

In his first comments since reports of the Comey memo broke, the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said it was crucial to let investigations run their course before rushing to judgment.

The visit had already generated its share of scandal after Moscow released pictures of the closed-door Oval Office meeting showing Trump and Lavrov grinning after White House officials presumed they would not be made public.

Mr Green added: "The president committed an impeachable act when he fired Comey and indicated he considered the Russian Federation thing when he did it".

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