As a parade of lawmakers appeared on television Wednesday morning to discuss the latest turmoil emerging from the White House, another piece of news broke: Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to provide Congress a transcript of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian envoys to prove that no classified secrets were divulged.
Putin’s offer was quickly brushed off — even laughed off — by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
It seemed to be the one point Republicans and Democrats could immediately agree on Wednesday morning.
“I wouldn’t put much credibility on to whatever Putin’s notes are,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said on “Fox & Friends.”
He added a zinger: “And if it comes in an email, I wouldn’t click on the attachment, that’s for sure.”
In an appearance on CNN, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wondered if the latest development was part of some Russian plot to undermine confidence in democracy.
“The idea that we would accept any evidence from President Putin is absurd,” she said, smiling.
On CNN, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., had just declared that he supported calling for an independent commission or special prosecutor to investigate any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia when host Alisyn Camerota cut in with news of Putin’s announcement.
“Well, I don’t talk to murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin,” Kinzinger said on CNN. “He says that he doesn’t use GPS-guided bombs to bomb hospitals in Syria, and we know that to be untrue, so Putin’s word to me doesn’t mean a whole lot.”
Kinzinger added any evidence Putin wanted to provide wouldn’t have much credence on Capitol Hill anyway.
“If they want to send some information, we’ll be interested to look,” he said. “But it’ll be interesting to me why there would be any kind of an account of what was discussed from the Russians in the White House.”
Democrats were equally dismissive of reports Putin might provide a transcript of Trump’s May 10 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak that would be of any worth to American investigators.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chuckled as CNN host Chris Cuomo asked what he made of Putin’s “generous” offer.
“I think the last thing the president needs right now is Putin vouching for him,” Schiff told Cuomo. “All of this just gets more and more baffling every day, but I don’t think we should allow it to distract us from the very serious allegations.”