Rex Tillerson Cannot Confirm That the Oval Office Has Not Been Bugged By the Russians

Earlier today, Russian president Vladimir Putin created quite a tizzy when he claimed that his government was in possession of recordings of the Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and that he was willing to provide transcripts to Congress. While the Kremlin walked that back later, claiming that they only had a stenographer on scene and there were no audio recordings, this still brought up renewed concerns that the Russians could have placed recording equipment in the White House during the visit. With that in mind, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell attempted to press Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the issue today. With Tillerson posing for photos with Algerian Minister Ramtane Lamamra, Mitchell asked the Secretary of State if he thought “the Russians were bugging the Oval Office.” “I would have no way to know that,” Tillerson responded. When the NBC News reporter tried to get him to further answer about Putin’s offer to provide a transcript of the meeting, Tillerson walked off. There was an immediate outcry about the Russian visit last week due to the fact that Russian state news agency TASS was the only press outlet allowed inside. Besides the blocking of the American press, concerns were raised about allowing Russians to enter with photographic equipment. The meeting has since become the center of a firestorm due to reports that Trump divulged highly classified information to Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Watch the clip above, via MSNBC. [image via screengrab]Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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