Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov mocks media over Donald Trump's 'intelligence sharing'

Nicosia, Cyprus: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday mocked US news reports suggesting President Donald Trump inappropriately shared sensitive intelligence with him about terror threats involving laptops on aeroplanes.

File image of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. AP image

File image of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. AP image

Without directly confirming the details of their conversation, Lavrov said he didn't understand what the "secret" was since the US introduced a ban on laptops on airlines from some West Asian countries two months ago.

He joked that some US media were acting like communist newspapers in the former Soviet Union and not offering real news.

"There used to be a joke in the Soviet Union that there was a newspaper, Pravda, so called Truth, that there was no izvestia or news in there," Lavrov said. "Truly, I get this impression that many US media are working in this vein."

Lavrov was in Cyprus on Thursday for talks with his Cypriot counterpart.

Asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the reported intelligence-sharing, he said media have reported that "the secret" Trump told him was that "'terrorists are capable of stuffing laptops, all kinds of electronic devices, with untraceable explosive materials."

"As far as I can recall, maybe one month or two months before the Trump administration had an official ban on laptops on airlines from seven West Asian countries and it was connected directly with the terrorist threat," Lavrov added. "So, if you're talking about that, I see no secret here."

The Washington Post reported this week that Trump shared highly classified information with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak about an Islamic State terror threat involving laptop computers on aircraft. Other outlets, including The Associated Press, later confirmed the report.

Trump responded by tweeting that as president, he had the authority to disclose whatever he'd like. He did not deny discussing classified information.


Published Date: May 18, 2017 10:08 pm | Updated Date: May 18, 2017 10:10 pm

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