National Security

Putin is Just Trolling Now

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at a news conference in Sochi, Russia this morning where he offered to provide Congress with a transcript of exactly what Trump said to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the oval office last week.

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin, deriding as “political schizophrenia” a furor in Washington over President Trump’s sharing of classified intelligence with Russia, said on Wednesday that he was ready to give American lawmakers “a record” of the Oval Office meeting between Mr. Trump and senior Russian diplomats. [...]

“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,” the Russian president said. The Russian word for “record” can refer to an audio recording, but the Interfax news agency quoted a Kremlin aide, Yuri V. Ushakov, as telling reporters that Moscow had in its possession a written record of the conversation, not a recording.

Why would the Kremlin be in possession of a transcript of an oval office meeting while the American Congress is not?

Because no members of the American press were allowed into the meeting but a Russian photographer carrying his own equipment was. Members of Congress will be briefed on the oval office conservation and some specific details of it have been leaked to the press, but the Kremlin had access to that information from the start.

Of course, we probably shouldn't trust that information provided by the Kremlin is authentic, but I also don't believe information provided by the Trump regime is authentic. Trump's staff and members of his cabinet routinely lie to the public.

As for the leak itself, NBC News reported this morning that news outlets are still being asked not to report the details of the conversation.

U.S. intelligence officials have asked NBC News and other media organizations not to report the type of equipment, where it was stolen, and the name of the city where the intelligence was gathered, because doing so could harm U.S. national security, they say. But Trump told the Russians those things, the U.S. officials said, as he described intelligence that led to the new rules banning electronic devices in the cabins of certain flights.

The information came from Israel, multiple government officials told NBC News — another fact some news organizations had been asked not to disclose, U.S. officials said.

While NBC News and many other outlets have been asked not to report the details, the details are out there. Sources say Trump shared intelligence gathered by an Israeli military intelligence asset embedded within ISIS. Trump also shared the specific city the information was gathered in, but I won't reprint that.

The Israeli government hasn't formally acknowledged any of this, but former Mossad spy agency chiefs aren't holding back.

  • Badgerite

    “Sources say trump shared intelligence gathered by an Israeli military intelligence asset embedded within ISIS. trump also shared the specific city the information was gathered in…” P-O-S.

  • muselet

    This is master-level trolling by Vladimir Putin. I expect Donald Trump to start rage-tweeting about it as soon as his aides hand him back his phone.

    Also, given Trump’s promises to be aggressively pro-Israel, there is a certain irony in his burning an Israeli asset in order to impress the Russians.

    I say again, it’s going to take a long time for the US’s reputation and standing to recover from Trump.


    • Arthur Croft

      I think it depends on how seriously he and all involved within his circle (family included) are punished.
      It will be important for all of them to be jailed indefinitely and made an example of so this never happens again and to show the US’s seriousness moving forward regarding the consequences of acquiescing to a foreign power to help get elected. That and tighter cybersecurity measures and campaigns to fight the typical right wing and Russian right wing planted misinformation.

      Of course, no Republican will be able to help anything recover and it will take a charismatic Obama-type leader to do the repairs, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

      • muselet

        That would certainly help, but the damage already done is enormous.

        If you were a head of state, would you want your country’s security services to share information with the US after this? If there were the slightest chance a Trump appointee would so much as hear about that intelligence, I wouldn’t. That won’t change just because we change presidents.

        The US will have to earn back the trust of the rest of the world, and doing so won’t be the work of a moment.