Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Putin willing to hand over transcript of Russian official's meeting with Trump

Putin willing to hand over transcript of Russian official's meeting with Trump

His offer added a weird twist to the furor over Trump's intelligence disclosures.

The conversation came hours after he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was probing his election team over links to the Kremlin.

Still, the revelations sent a White House accustomed to chaos reeling anew.

On Tuesday, it was revealed through Comey's memos that Trump had asked Comey to shut down the FBI's investigation into Flynn, who was sacked after misleading United States officials about his December conversations with a Russian ambassador.

But Mr Trump tweeted: "As President, I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled WH meeting), which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety". Yet U.S. allies and some members of Congress have expressed alarm.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken by phone, an Israeli spokesman said Wednesday, as controversy brewed over the US president's sharing of intelligence with Russian Federation that came from Israel.

He dismissed USA politicians - unnamed - as either being "stupid" or "dangerous and unscrupulous" who are wittingly "causing the damage to their own country".

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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.

A source close to Comey confirmed to ABC News that the former FBI director, who was sacked last week, was asked by Trump in February to end the investigation into Flynn's actions, according to a memo Comey wrote about his conversation with the president.

"Anyway, this is a U.S. matter, and we don't want and don't plan to interfere", the Russian president said.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday requesting that it turn over all documents and recordings that detail communications between Comey and Trump. He said he would give the Federal Bureau of Investigation a week and then "if we need a subpoena, we'll do it".

"I have to say yes simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense. But I think we're in impeachment territory now, for the first time", Gergen said in a panel discussion on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

May added that decisions about what Trump discussed with anybody were "a matter for President Trump", adding that Britain would continue to work with and share intelligence with the USA, highlighting the key threat of terrorism from organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda. The associate was not authorized to discuss the memo by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Citing a memo written by Mr Comey on a meeting with Mr Trump in the Oval Office, the report claims Mr Trump told the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Mr Flynn had done nothing wrong. The White House vowed to track down those who disclosed the information.

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Trump fired Flynn on February 13, on grounds that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russians.

"I hope you can let this go", Trump told Comey, according to a source familiar with the contents of the memo.

Trump is also facing calls for his impeachment after it was reported he asked Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey - whom he later fired - to stop investigating his national security advisor Mike Flynn's links to Russian Federation. "The Senate Intelligence Committee should be briefed on this important issue immediately". "Memos, transcripts, tapes - the list keeps getting longer", he said.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", the president told Comey, according to the memo, quoted by media.

The newspaper said Comey was in the Oval Office that day with other national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing. On Tuesday, people close to the matter said Comey kept detailed notes of his multiple conversations with Trump.

The report withheld key details on the intelligence Trump allegedly "revealed", even while coming with heavy suggestion that it was shared inappropriately.

National Security Adviser HR McMaster said the president's comments were "wholly appropriate".

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For his part, Lee said Moon asked him to express his "gratitude" to Xi for his message of congratulations after the election. South Korea's new President Moon Jae-In dispatched Lee to Beijing in the wake of his election victory last week.


A United States administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel, which was initially reported by the New York Times.

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