Russian President Vladimir Putin .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
SOCHI, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump had not passed any secrets onto Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting in Washington last week and that he could prove it.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Putin quipped that Lavrov had not passed what he said were the non-existent secrets onto him either.
"I spoke to him (Lavrov) today," said Putin with a smile. "I'll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us. Not with me, nor with representatives of Russia's intelligence services. It was very bad of him."
Putin, who said Moscow rated Lavrov's meeting with Trump "highly," said Russia was ready to hand a transcript of Trump's meeting with Lavrov over to US lawmakers if that would help reassure them.
A Kremlin aide, Yuri Ushakov, later told reporters that Moscow had in its possession a written record of the conversation, not an audio recording.
Two US officials said on Monday that Trump had disclosed highly classified information to Lavrov about a planned Islamic State operation, plunging the White House into another controversy just months into Trump's short tenure in office.
US officials: Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russia (credit: REUTERS)
Putin's remarks came after The New York Times
on Tuesday evening reported that Israel was the source
of classified intelligence that Trump purportedly disclosed to the Russian officials.
Two US officials, one current and one former, said Trump shared the intelligence supplied by Israel in the fight against Islamic State with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during an Oval Office meeting last Wednesday, which the American press was barred from attending.
While Israeli officials have not confirmed they were the source of intelligence, Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer told the Times in an emailed statement that “Israel has full confidence in our intelligence- sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump.”
The issued emerged days before Trump’s first visit to Israel on May 22 and 23. Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.