SOCHI/MOSCOW Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had not divulged any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials and offered to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript.
But a leading U.S. Republican politician said he would have little faith in any notes Putin might supply.
Two U.S. officials said on Monday Trump had disclosed classified information about a planned Islamic State operation to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when they met last week, plunging the White House into a fresh controversy just four months into Trump’s tenure.
Trump, whose administration has been dogged by allegations that Russia helped him win the White House and that he and his allies are too cosy with Moscow, has defended his decision to discuss intelligence with the Russians after media reports of the meeting alarmed some U.S. and foreign politicians.
President Putin deployed his trademark sarcasm on Wednesday to make clear he thought the accusation that Trump had divulged secrets absurd.
“I spoke to him (Lavrov) today,” a smiling Putin told a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“I’ll be forced to issue him (Lavrov) 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.”