Putin says Russia has transcript of Trump meeting
- Author: Leroy Wright May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 4:31
In a joint press conference Tuesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump said the "very successful" meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's U.S. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak would "contribute to the war on terrorism".
Trump's apparent disregard for those relationships puts tremendous strain on the intelligence professionals who depend on them in a day-to-day capacity to do their jobs, former officials say.
But Trump defended his highly unusual move the next day, tweeting that he had the right to share information pertaining to terrorism and airline safety with Russian officials, and that he wanted to do so because of "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism".
With President Trump roundly criticized for allowing a Russian Foreign Ministry photographer and his equipment in the White House's Oval Office, whilst allowing no American reporters in the meeting, folks are curious about whether the meeting in the White House was recorded, and if so, whether or not US officials knew the White House meeting was being recorded.
Vladimir Putin branded a scandal surrounding Donald Trump sharing classified intelligence with Russian officials as "political schizophrenia".
But Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes said the only topic discussed in the 20-minute conversation was Trump's upcoming visit. "The record [запись] is done by someone who is at the talks specifically for that objective", he said (link in Russian). He dismissed outrage over Trump's disclosures as US politicians whipping up "anti-Russian sentiment".
Amnon Sofrin, former head of Mossad's intelligence directorate, said the issue was unlikely to be touched on when Mr Trump visits Israel on his first foreign trip next week.
"Political schizophrenia is developing in the United States".
"We continue to work with the United States and we continue to share intelligence with the United States, as we do with others around the world".
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in the room during the Oval Office meeting, smiled and laughed when asked Wednesday whether he thinks 'the Russians were bugging the Oval Office'.
Trump is also under pressure over accusations he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the agency's investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Some Republican lawmakers, including North Country congresswoman Elise Stefanik, have also described President Trump's actions in recent days as "disturbing".
Theresa May has said Britain still has confidence in its special relationship with the United States, amid a series of concerns linked to Donald Trump.
News accounts of the meeting claim the classified information involved a possible Islamic State plan to smuggle bombs hidden in laptop computers aboard airliners. "The relations between the Israeli intelligence community and the other communities of the USA are very intimate". The information reportedly came from a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing agreement.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said he had complete confidence in the American intelligence community.