Moscow could provide a recording of the exchange between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday, but his aide later suggested he had meant a written transcript.
“If the US administration finds it possible, we are ready to provide a recording of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the US Congress and Senate,” Putin said during a media conference.
He mocked the idea that Trump had gone off-script to share secrets with the Russians.
“[Lavrov] didn’t share these secrets with us – neither with me nor with the representatives of the Russian security services. That is very bad of him,” Putin said.
This prompted sniggers from the audience as he answered questions after talks with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
Although Putin used the Russian word for audio recording at the media conference, his foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said that “audio is not made”.
“There is a recording kept by a special person present at conversations,” he said.
The Washington Post said Trump had shared intelligence with Lavrov regarding an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on planes.
Sources said that intelligence had come from a US ally who had not authorised Washington to pass it on to Moscow.
Putin slammed critics who spread allegations about Trump’s ties with Russia.
“What else will the people generating such drivel and nonsense think of next?” he said.
“They are shaking up their internal politics while using anti-Russian slogans.”