Trump-Russia row: Putin offers to release records of meeting

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Trump-Russia row: Putin offers to release records of meeting
Trump-Russia row: Putin offers to release records of meeting

Trump-Russia row: Putin offers to release records of meeting

Trump-Russia row: Putin offers to release records of meeting
Trump-Russia row: Putin offers to release records of meeting

Vladimir Putin has offered to release a record of Russian officials’ meeting with Donald Trump, who is alleged to have passed them sensitive information.

US media say Mr Trump passed on classified information last week, but Russia says this is not the case.

Mr Putin said Russian government records could be handed over to US Congress if a request is made for them.

The news comes amid reports Mr Trump tried to influence an investigation into his team’s links with Russia.

US media have quoted a memo by former FBI director James Comey that reportedly says Mr Trump asked him to drop an inquiry into links between his ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

Issue one: The Russian meeting

Mr Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at the White House last Wednesday.

The meeting came amid an ongoing FBI inquiry and congressional hearings into possible Russian influence in the 2016 US election.

It also came a day after Mr Trump dismissed Mr Comey from his post.

On Monday, the Washington Post, followed by a number of other US outlets, said Mr Trump gave the Russian officials information relating to the Islamic State group (IS) that could have endangered the source of the information.

The information was reportedly deemed so sensitive it had not been shared with key US partners, let alone Russia, which is allied to US opponents in Syria.

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Mr Trump later defended his right to share the information, and his national security adviser HR McMaster said the president’s actions were “wholly appropriate”.

On Wednesday, Mr Putin joked that the meeting did not unfold as had been portrayed.

“I spoke to him [Lavrov] today,” he said. “I’ll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us.”

Issue two: The Comey memo

What does it say?

While in charge at the FBI, Mr Comey was heading an investigation into possible Russian influence on the US election.

The Russia story has already claimed one victim – Mr Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired after misleading the government over his meetings with Mr Kislyak.

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