Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Putin Offers to Give Congress Transcripts of Russia's Chat With Trump in the Oval Office

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks after the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center in China on May 15, 2017.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks after the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center in China on May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
President Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. It’s unclear if Trump shared the highly classified information with them before or after this photo was taken. (Russian Foreign Ministry/ Flickr)
President Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. It’s unclear if Trump shared the highly classified information with them before or after this photo was taken. (Russian Foreign Ministry/ Flickr)

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.

Advertisement

Expert level trolling, Mr. Putin.

[CNN]

Advertisement

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

*Congress: Trump, you’re accused of treason for leaking secrets to the Russians when you met with them in the Oval office.

Trump: I have an alibi! I have the best alibi, really, really terrific alibi.

Congress: What’s your alibi?

Trump: Russia says I didn’t do it.

*Obviously this scenario has to assume a hypothetical republican lead congress with the courage and patriotism to merely do their jobs. I know, totally unrealistic.