Putin sounds off on Trump-Russia meeting, 'political schizophrenia' of US

SOCHI, Russia, May 17 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had not passed on any secrets to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting in Washington last week and that he could prove it.

Speaking at a news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin quipped that Lavrov was remiss for not passing on what he made clear he believed were non-existent secrets.

"I spoke to him (Lavrov) today," said Putin with a smile. "I'll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share these secrets with us. Not with me, nor with representatives of Russia's intelligence services. It was very bad of him."

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WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak (L-R) talking during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (R) speaks with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak during talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not inpicture) in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: (AFP-OUT) President Donald Trump meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office at the White House on May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States shakes hands with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as they meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: US President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak during talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not in picture) in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives at the White House for talks with US President Donald Trump. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: (AFP-OUT) President Donald Trump meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office at the White House on May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and President Donald Trump of the United States meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) leaves the White House May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lavrov met with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss Ukraine, Syria and other bilaterial subjects, according to the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L-R) meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: President Donald Trump (L) of the United States and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet for talks in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - MAY 10, 2017: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak (L-R) talking during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Putin, who said Moscow rated Lavrov's meeting with Trump "highly," said Russia was ready to hand a transcript of Trump's meeting with Lavrov over to U.S. lawmakers if that would help reassure them.

A Kremlin aide, Yuri Ushakov, later told reporters that Moscow had in its possession a written record of the conversation, not an audio recording.

Complaining about what he said were signs of "political schizophrenia" in the United States, Putin said Trump was not being allowed to do his job properly.

"It's hard to imagine what else can these people who generate such nonsense and rubbish can dream up next," said Putin.

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"What surprises me is that they are shaking up the domestic political situation using anti-Russian slogans. Either they don't understand the damage they're doing to their own country, in which case they are simply stupid, or they understand everything, in which case they are dangerous and corrupt."

Two U.S. officials said on Monday that Trump had disclosed highly classified information to Lavrov about a planned Islamic State operation, plunging the White House into another controversy just months into Trump's short tenure in office.

Russia has repeatedly said that anti-Russian politicians in the United States are using groundless fears of closer ties with Moscow to sabotage any rapprochement and damage Trump in the process. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk/Jack Stubbs/Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe)

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Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort signed on as Donald Trump's campaign manager in March 2016. A longtime Republican strategist and beltway operative, Manafort had previously served as an adviser to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich -- a pro-Russia leader who was violently ousted in 2014. Manafort resigned from his campaign position in August 2016 amid questions over his lobbying history in Ukraine for an administration supportive of Russia. The former campaign manager reportedly remained in Trump's circle during the post-election transition period.

Michael Flynn

Gen. Michael Flynn was named President Trump's national security adviser in November of 2016. Flynn reportedly met and spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, at one point discussing sanctions. Flynn originally told Vice President Pence he did not discuss sanctions -- a point the Department of Justice said made the national security adviser subject to blackmail. Flynn resigned from his position in February.

Sergey Kislyak

Outgoing Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak is the Russian official U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions -- communication Sessions denied during his Senate committee hearing testimony.

Roger Stone

Stone is a longtime Republican political consultant who served as a campaign adviser to Trump who continued to talk with the then-GOP candidate after stepping away from his adviser role. Stone claimed last year that he had knowledge of the planned WikiLeaks release of emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Stone recently admitted to speaking via direct message with "Guccifer 2.0" -- an online entity U.S. officials believe is tied to Russia. Stone says the correspondence was “completely innocuous.”

Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama joined Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016. Sessions was nominated to be U.S. attorney general by President Trump and was then confirmed by the Senate. Reports then emerged that Sessions had spoken twice with Sergey Kislyak while he was senator -- a fact that he left out of his Senate hearing testimony. Instead, he said in writing that he had not communicated with any Russian officials during the campaign season. Sessions defended himself saying he had spoken with Kislyak specifically in a senate capacity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The American intelligence community accused Putin in Jan. 2017 of ordering a campaign to undermine trust in the American electoral process, developing a clear preference for Trump as president. "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump," the report read.

James Comey

Comey publicly confirmed in March an FBI inquiry into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. “The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” Comey stated.

Carter Page

Page worked for Merrill Lynch as an investment banker out of their Moscow office for three years before joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser. During his time with Merrill Lynch, Page advised transactions for two major Russian entities. Page has called Washington "hypocritical" for focusing on corruption and democratization in addressing U.S. relations with Russia. While Page is someone Trump camp has seemingly tried to distance itself from, Page recently said he has made frequent visits to Trump Tower.

J.D. Gordon

Before Gordon joined the Trump campaign as a national security adviser in March 2016, he served as a Pentagon spokesman from 2005 through 2009. Like others involved in Trump-Russia allegations, Gordon met with ambassador Kislyak in July at the Republican National Convention, but has since denied any wrongdoing in their conversation. He advocated for and worked to revise the RNC language on and position toward Ukraine relations, so it was more friendly toward Russia's dealings in the country.

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