GOP senator: ‘Absurd’ to accept Putin’s transcripts of Trump conversation

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Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said Wednesday it would be “absurd” to accept Russian transcripts detailing last week’s conversations between President Trump and two Russian officials after the White House refused to say if it would provide transcripts from the meetings last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has since offered to provide the Russian transcripts of the meeting.

“The idea that we would accept any evidence from President Putin is absurd,” said Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

{mosads}The Washington Post broke the news Monday that Trump provided Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador with highly classified information about potential terror threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The information, according to the reports, could be used to threaten an Israeli intelligence asset.

The president disclosed this intelligence to the Russian diplomats without receiving permission from Israel. 

The White House has defended Trump’s decision as within his right as president to declassify information at his discretion.

Collins called for transcripts of Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

“And if there are transcripts, we need those transcripts as well,” she added.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer pointed Tuesday to previous statements about the meeting, saying that the real problem was that the details of the meeting leaked out.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump asked FBI Director James Comey in a meeting to end the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia.

Comey reportedly maintained a paper trail to detail what he saw as the president’s improper attempt to influence the investigation.

Collins also said her committee needs to interview Comey and review the documents he maintained in order to get to the bottom of the matter.

Collins said the committee needs to see Comey’s documents because of all the conflicting information coming from the president compared to his staff.

“Unfortunately the administration has given such conflicting information that president’s tweets at times seem to contradict the statements made by his staff,” Collins said.

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