As Russia brags about “verbal agreements” that Vladimir Putin reached with President Donald Trump last week, and U.S. officials scramble to understand what that actually means, sources familiar with intelligence gathering practices tell Politico that the U.S. intelligence community can likely provide some clarity.
A top-secret U.S. intelligence collection service that “specializes in tapping adversaries’ communications on the fly,” in Politico’s words, might have gained access to discussions between Putin’s team last week in Helsinki. Sources familiar with the intel service told Politico that the Special Collection Service recorded Putin’s readout of his one-on-one meeting with Trump and likely has access to information about Kremlin officials’ honest response to the summit.
That intel could prove crucial as U.S. officials are reportedly unsure about what the two world leaders discussed or agreed to during their private meeting. Russia’s ambassador to the United States told the media in Moscow on Wednesday that Trump and Putin had reached several “verbal agreements” on weapons treaties and Syria. Putin also told the media over the weekend that he and Trump had discussed a referendum on Ukraine, which the White House swiftly denounced.
Trump tweeted on Monday, attempting to squash reports that he was manipulated by Putin.
“I gave up NOTHING” to Putin, he said.
Read Politico’s full report on the Special Collection Service here.