The National Security Council staff discussed the situation that arose during the meeting with Mr. Tillerson that was being discussed, the statement said.
The National Security Council staff discussed issues, including the administration’s strategy relating to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible sanctions on Russian officials, the statement said. However, it did not report or discuss those issues during the meeting. It also did not discuss any specific intelligence or intelligence collection operations or activities.
The statement said staff did not bring to the meeting any conclusions about sources, methods or communications that “could be used by Russia or any other foreign actor” or that would support Mr. Trump’s claims about Mr. Putin and the electoral influence, and did not disclose any specific classified information.
“On the issue of cyberoperations on U.S. elections, it was discussed for more than 30 minutes that the Russia issue should not be discussed publicly,” the statement said.
Mr. Trump has frequently suggested that Russian President Vladimir V. Putin may have interfered with the American election and called the Russia investigation a “witch-hunt” by Democrats.
“It is time for Obama to come clean about his dealings with Russia,” he wrote on Twitter on Jan. 4, days before he fired Mr. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., who is leading the investigation.
“He had to terminate the FBI Director because he was trying to protect the American People! Terrible!” he added.
Mr. Trump then followed up on Twitter on Feb. 14 with, “I have been asking Director Comey & others, from Day 1, what he has done and why he was fired.”
Former officials said that Mr. Trump did take that action because of Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state. One former official added that the president believed the Russia investigation could interfere with the outcome of the election.
“I think that the president, in terms of his own internal political needs, he’s very frustrated by the Russia investigation,” said Stephen C. Hadley, a retired four-star general who served as the White House national security adviser until last week. “I think the president wanted to show that there is no special treatment and that anything he did or didn’t do was going to be fair game.”
Mr. Hadley said that while the president has a right to share his views with Mr. Tillerson, he should let the secretary of
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