Russian president, Vladmir Putin said he would release a record of the meeting to Congress ,the Kremlin’s transcript version of the last week meeting between U.S President Donald Trump, top White House officials and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, where top-level secret information was allegedly shared.
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.
The Washington Post newspaper has reported that Trump shared intelligence with Lavrov regarding an ISIL threat related to the use of laptop computers on airplanes.
The controversy comes amid existing investigations into whether Trump’s aides colluded with Russia during the election campaign.
US media have quoted a memo by former FBI director James Comey that reportedly says Mr Trump asked him to drop an inquiry into links between his ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Moscow.
The fallout from both issues continues to consume Washington, with moves by Democrats to set up an independent commission is starting to gather momentum.
As for Mr Trump, he told US Coast Guard Academy graduates in Connecticut: “No politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
According to Reuters report,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 cozy 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.
Putin said he was pleased with Lavrov’s visit to the US capital last week but mocked the idea that Trump had shared secrets during the meeting on May 10, calling the allegations “political schizophrenia” and saying people spreading them are either “dumb” or “corrupt”.
“We can see that political schizophrenia is developing in the United States,” Putin said after talks with Paolo Gentiloni, Italian prime minister, in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday.
“I cannot otherwise explain the accusations of the president that he handed Lavrov some sort of secrets.”
BBC Report that Mr Trump later defended his right to share the information, and his national security adviser HR McMaster said the president’s actions were “wholly appropriate”.
On Wednesday, Mr Putin joked that the meeting did not unfold as had been portrayed.
“I spoke to him [Mr Lavrov] today,” he said. “I’ll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us.”
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Mr Comey had written a memo following a meeting with the president on 14 February, saying that Mr Trump had asked him to close an investigation into Mr Flynn’s actions.
He reportedly shared this memo with top FBI associates.
“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. “He is a good guy.”
Mr Comey did not respond to his request, according to this account, but replied: “I agree he is a good guy.”
The FBI chief was later fired by Mr Trump. The official reason was over his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while at the state department.
But Mr Trump said in an interview last week that “this Russian thing” was on his mind as he made the decision.
Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, report that,”Democrats are calling on Republicans to join them in calling for an independent investigation”,
There is growing concern that the Trump White House refused to hand over transcripts or tapes, with “three separate congressional investigations ongoing into Russian meddlings or ties between Russian officials and Trump’s staff”
New York Times says., Adam Schiff, the highest-ranked Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said this intervention by Mr Trump, if confirmed, amounted to “interference or obstruction of the investigation”.
The key legal statute is 18 US Code Section 1512, which contains a broad definition allowing charges to be brought against someone who “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so”.
It has been pointed out that Mr Trump did have the legal authority to fire Mr Comey, but there is a legal precedent for otherwise lawful acts to be considered an obstruction of justice if done with corrupt intentions,
Legal experts have told the Washington Post that is not clear in this case as intent is difficult to prove.
However, former federal prosecutor Samuel Buell told the Times: “The evidence of improper purpose has gotten much stronger since the day of Comey’s firing.
“Trump has made admissions about that. And we now have evidence that he may have indicated an improper purpose previously in his communications with Comey about the Russia investigation.”