Russian President Vladimir Putin has essentially called out the Washington Post by claiming that their bombshell report of President Donald Trump sharing classified intel with Russian diplomats is blatantly false, citing “political schizophrenia” in Washington as the likely motivation behind running the unsourced story.
During a joint press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Wednesday, a baffled Putin could come up with “no other explanation” for the Post’s fabricated story about Trump’s meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak than political bias.
He even quipped that Lavrov would face some sort of reprimand because he has yet to share any such classified information with Putin and the rest of the government.
The development is the latest twist in a story that Trump’s left-wing opponents have heralded as an impeachable offense comparable to Watergate. White House officials promptly poked holes in the story, with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster flatly claiming that it never happened and Trump himself noting that sharing intel is part of his executive privilege.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”
Several lawmakers have come forward to note that while they would appreciate the opportunity to review transcripts of the meeting in question, any information coming from Russia should be subjected to intense scrutiny before being held up as the truth.