During a Wednesday morning press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to provide a transcript, should the Trump administration find it “appropriate,” of President Trump’s meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to Congress. “Putin denied that Trump had shared intelligence in the meeting, describing the media reports on the issue as ‘political schizophrenia,’ ” CNN’s Matthew Chance and Angela Dewan report.
Chance said on CNN that Putin told reporters he could provide a “recording” of the meeting, a claim that the Kremlin hurriedly dialed back. “They’re saying that there was a stenographer present in the room that was specifically designated to record this meeting and to provide transcripts to the Russian side at least and presumably to the U.S. side as well.”
Putin’s proposal, which Chance says was at least partially a joke (Putin is clearly trolling), isn’t being taken seriously by lawmakers. “The idea that we would accept any evidence from President Putin is absurd,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins told CNN. “If Putin is now saying that he has tapes, that of course begs even more questions about why the Russians are recording conversations with the U.S. president,” House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “All of this just gets more and more baffling every day.”
When asked this morning in the wake of Putin’s comments whether he thought the Russians had bugged the Oval Office, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson replied, “I would have no way of knowing that.”