According to multiple reports, Vladimir Putin just offered to provide a transcript of the discussion between President Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that occurred last week in the Oval Office. There was no mention of the other high-ranking Russian official that was in the room, ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
Some news outlets have erroneously claimed that Russia is willing to provide an audio recording, but Reuters is reporting that Putin didn’t offer up any audio, just a transcript. The remarks were made at a press conference today.
“If the U.S. administration finds this appropriate, we’re ready to provide a record of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the U.S. Senate and Congress,” Putin said.
Update, 9:16am: The New York Times is quoting Putin as saying that he’s willing to provide “a record,” though it’s still not clear what that means exactly. Apparently the Russian word for “record” can mean audio recording, but it can also mean other things.
The implication, however, is that the Russians may have a recording of some kind (audio or video) from which they would be able to produce a transcript. One of the major concerns that former intelligence officials raised after the meeting became known was that Russian officials would bring sensitive recording technology into the White House.
But, of course, a transcript doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a recording, audio or otherwise. It’s possible to provide a readout from someone who may have been taking notes during the meeting as well.
Donald Trump came under fire late on Monday after it was revealed that he had disclosed highly classified information during his meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office. This certainly won’t help things.
Expert level trolling, Mr. Putin.