Tass, a news agency owned by the Russian government, reported on Tuesday that President Donald Trump likely passed highly classified information to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
In a Russian-language report on Tuesday that pointed to The Washington Post‘s original reporting, Tass said that Trump talked “in detail about the new threat posed by the [Islamic State], involving the use of laptops on flights.”
“Trump said the terrorists may carry out some attacks, and explained what kind of damage they can cause,” the Tass report explained. “He also called the city on the territory controlled by the group where the partner of the US on the exchange of intelligence discovered a new threat.”
American media were not permitted in the room for Trump’s meeting with the Russian officials, but the White House allowed Tass to attend. The Tass report, however, does not deny that Trump passed secrets to the Russians.
A subsequent English-language report from Tass noted that Trump has defended his ability to share classified information with other countries.
Another report intended for English-speaking audiences insisted that The Washington Post report “was another attempt to exert pressure on the new US administration and make deals related to various political appointments and lobbying.”
“The article mentions no evidence, it is based on information received from some sources. Actually, there is a typical pattern concerning the way that such articles come out and the response that they get,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova insisted.