Russian official slams U.S. media over Trump intel reports

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shown in a picture posted online with President Trump during a closed-door meeting at the Oval Office on May 10, 2017.

Twitter/@mfa_russia

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has mocked U.S. news reports suggesting President Trump shared sensitive intelligence with him about terror threats involving laptops on airplanes.

Without directly confirming the details of their conversation, Lavrov told reporters in Cyprus on Thursday that he didn't understand what the "secret" was since the U.S. introduced a ban on laptops on airlines from some Middle Eastern countries two months ago.

He joked that some U.S. media were acting like communist newspapers during the Soviet Union and not offering real news.

Lavrov says media have reported that Mr. Trump told him that "'terrorists' are capable of stuffing laptops, all kinds of electronic devices, with untraceable explosive materials," information he says the administration revealed with the laptop ban.

Lavrov said: "So, if you're talking about that, I see no secret here."

Earlier this month -- in what was supposed to be a closed-door Oval Office meeting between Mr. Trump and Lavrov -- pictures emerged of meetings between Mr. Trump, Lavrov and Russian Envoy Sergey Kislyak via Russian media and Russian government social media accounts.

The Russian-sourced pictures are the only public record of the meetings as of this writing, largely because members of the White House press pool -- who are charged to report on the president's whereabouts and what happens inside the White House -- weren't allowed into the May 10 meeting. No photos were taken by the White House press of the president's meeting with Lavrov and with Russian Envoy Sergey Kislyak.

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Picture posted to Russian social media account shows President Trump flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (R) as they share a laugh during a closed-door Oval Office meeting on Wed., May 10, 2017.

Twitter/@RusEmbUSA

Twitter accounts held by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy provided a running commentary of highlights from Lavrov's Washington visit, including Lavrov's jibes with reporter's at the State Department regarding FBI Director James Comey's firing.

On Monday, a former intelligence official told CBS News "something inappropriate" was discussed by Mr. Trump during that meeting. The source -- who is in touch with current officials -- says "details were discussed that should not have been discussed."

The Trump administration insisted that whatever Mr. Trump shared with the Russian government, it was "wholly appropriate" for him to do so.

"What the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he's engaged," Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, told reporters Tuesday.