As the quest to unearth just what Trump told Russian foreign minister Lavrov continued, an unexpected development emerged on Wednesday morning, when none other than Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Trump did not share any classified information or state secrets to foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and to prove it he was ready to hand over a transcript of the talks between Putin and Lavrov to Congress if the White House requests it.
“If the US administration deems it possible, we are ready to provide the Senate and Congress with the transcript of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump,” Putin said at a press conference, following a meeting with the Italian prime minister on Wednesday.
While initially Reuters reported that Putin was ready to give a “recording” of the conversation, a subsequent clarification by Reuters quoted a Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov who says “Putin is prepared to provide a transcript, not audio recording, of Trump and Lavrov meeting.” Arguably, that’s because the last thing the White House needs right now is someone else recording conversations.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin jocked that Lavrov was at fault for not passing on what he made clear he believed were non-existent secrets.
“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.”
As for the reason behind Putin’s generous offer: the Russian president said that the latest reports about Trump revealing security secrets to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have become “political schizophrenia”, and Russia is willing to help resolve these, adding Russia highly appreciates results of Trump-Lavrov talks.
“We are seeing in the US a developing political schizophrenia,” Putin said quoted by RT. “There is no other way I can explain the accusations against the acting US president that he gave away some secrets to Lavrov” and added that “it’s hard to imagine what else can these people who generate such nonsense and rubbish can dream up next,” said Putin.
“What surprises me is that they are shaking up the domestic political situation using anti-Russian slogans. 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.”
“Anyway, this is a US matter, and we don’t want and don’t plan to interfere,” the Russian president said.