Adam Schiff: 'Last thing' Trump needs 'is Putin vouching for him'

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee said Wednesday that "the last thing (President Donald Trump) probably needs right now is for Vladimir Putin to be vouching for him", after the Russian president denied that his USA counterpart had disclosed classified information to Russian officials. "And that means, before rushing to judgment, we get all the pertinent information", Ryan said.

Republican US Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of a House of Representatives oversight committee, said his committee "is going to get the Comey memo, if it exists".

The Comey memo, first reported by the New York Times, caused alarm on Capitol Hill and raised questions about whether Trump tried to interfere with a federal investigation.

On CNN, Gergen said that "from a lay point of view" it appeared Trump was trying to impede the FBI's investigation.

Putin told a news conference that he would be willing to turn over notes of Trump's meeting with the Russian diplomats if the White House agreed.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", Trump allegedly told Comey, according to the memo.

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 US and foreign politicians.

On Wednesday, the day after the administration was rocked by two scandals - the president admitting that he had leaked classified Israeli intelligence to a Russian envoy in the Oval Office, and a New York Times report that he told James Comey to stop his investigation into Michael Flynn - Politico published an account of a White House one official described as feeling "kind of helpless".

Putin, who still hopes Moscow can fix battered ties with the United States despite a deepening political scandal in the United States related to Trump's purported Russian Federation ties, said Moscow had rated Lavrov's meeting with Trump highly.

"When people elected the president, they knew they were electing somebody different because they wanted things to change in Washington, and I think he has unique potential to bring change to the system and voters knew what they were doing", Blunt said.

A USA administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel, which was initially reported by the New York Times.

Representative Mike Conaway of Texas, who is heading the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of Russian interference in last year's election, said Tuesday night that members of Congress have to "compartmentalize" amid White House distractions.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, said simply, "It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House".

Putin mocked the idea that Trump went off-script to share secrets with the Russians, saying he could issue a "reprimand" to Lavrov since the minister hadn't passed on the information.

  • Leroy Wright