Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said the Kremlin could provide a transcript of the conversation between Russian diplomats and U.S. President Donald Trump that occurred at the White House last week in which Trump is accused of revealing classified information. File Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/Pool/EPA
May 17 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin is prepared to provide a transcript of the conversation between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. President Donald Trump last week at the White House.
In response to reports that Trump shared classified information with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the meeting, Putin on Wednesday said his administration would be willing to release the transcript if Trump's administration does not oppose.
"If the U.S. administration considers it possible, we are ready to submit a transcript of Lavrov's talk with Trump to the U.S. Senate and Congress, if, of course, the U.S. administration would want this," Putin said during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Sochi.
The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post reported that Trump shared intelligence about the Islamic State and said a Middle Eastern ally -- said by current and former U.S. officials to be Israel -- provided the information, with the understanding that it would not be shared with other countries without permission. The Washington Post reported Trump shared "code-word information" -- one of the highest classification levels -- about terror threats.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday that Trump should tell the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence exactly what information he shared with the Russian diplomats.
"Although the president has the legal authority to disclose classified information, it would be very troubling if he did share such sensitive reporting with the Russians," she said. "The Senate Intelligence Committee should be briefed on this important issue immediately."
Trump on Tuesday defended his decision on Twitter, saying he has the right as president to give sensitive information to the Russians as part of the global fight against terrorism.
"I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining ... to terrorism and airline flight safety," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against [the Islamic State] & terrorism."