Lavrov says saw no secrets in U.S. reports on laptop disclosures conveyed by Trump

Reuters News
Posted: May 18, 2017 9:13 AM

By Michele Kambas

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday he saw "no secrets" in U.S. media reports of apparent security threats by Islamic state that were divulged by President Donald Trump last week.

Two U.S. officials said on Monday Trump had disclosed classified information about a planned Islamic State operation to Lavrov when they met last week, plunging the White House into a fresh controversy just four months into Trump's tenure.

"As far as I can recall, maybe one month or two months earlier, the Trump administration had a laptop ban from seven Middle Eastern countries, and that it was connected directly to a terrorist threat," Lavrov told reporters in Nicosia, speaking through an interpreter.

"If you are talking about that, I can see no secrets here," he said.

Thursday's comments were the first on the issue by Lavrov since his meeting with Trump at the White House and the subsequent furor over what was discussed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also dismissed suggestions anything in the conversation was classified. He told reporters on Wednesday he was ready to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript.

Lavrov recalled a joke of Soviet times when there were two main newspapers - Pravda, meaning Truth, and Izvestiya, meaning The News. The Truth, ran the joke, is not News, and the News is not True.

"Truly I get the impression that many US media are working in this vein."

(Reporting By Michele Kambas; editing by Ralph Boulton)