President Trump told Russian officials in May 2017 that he wasn’t concerned about Kremlin interference in the 2016 election because the United States had done the same thing in other countries, according to a new report in the Washington Post. He made the remarks during an Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States.
That same meeting drew harsh criticism because Trump also told the Russians about a confidential US intelligence source on the Islamic State, and said he felt “great relief” after firing FBI director James Comey. But his specific comments about the election meddling had not been reported until now.
Alarmed White House officials immediately sought to conceal memoranda of the meeting that might reveal Trump’s remarks, according to the Post. The document was hidden on the same highly-classified stand-alone National Security Council computer system where officials had secretly stored the memorandum of Trump’s July 25 telephone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. That system’s misuse to store potentially embarrassing — but not highly classified — documents was revealed by the intelligence community whistleblower who filed a complaint about Trump’s Ukraine shakedown.
The abuse of that system by Trump aides is now central to the impeachment inquiry set in motion by House Democrats last week.
IMAGE: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Donald Trump.