Trump defends sharing terrorism 'facts' with Russians

Adjust Comment Print

President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials during a meeting last week, The Washington Post reported Monday, prompting strong condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans.

But in response to those reports, Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, told the press Monday that "at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed".

A senior U.S. official told AP that Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

The Washington Post, NY Times and several other outlets confirmed that Trump gave intelligence information gathered from a partner country to the Russians.

The president has broad authority to declassify information so it's not likely he broke the law, according to the Post, even though he shared it with a USA adversary.

Two former officials knowledgeable about the situation tell CNN that the main points of the Post story are accurate that the President shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister.

European official says country might stop sharing info with U.S. Trump has frequently said he wants better relations with Moscow. The nature of specific threats was discussed, he said, but not sources, methods or military operations.

Powell said: "This story is false". He said Trump discussed a range of subjects with the Russians, including "common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism".

H.R. McMaster added that none of the USA officials present for the president's Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister last week "felt in any way that that conversation was inappropriate".

At his briefing, McMaster said more concern should be given to the source who leaked the information in the first place. It concerns former and current USA officials leaking classified information to the press to undermine a US president. The White House was already reeling from its botched handling of Trump's decision last week to fire James Comey, the FBI director who was overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

Trump departs on Friday for his first overseas trip as president, travelling to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium on visits that will test his foreign policy skills. As NPR's Mara Liasson called what Trump is accused of doing on NPR podcast Up First - "lawful but very bad".

Sore ankle keeps Raptors G Lowry out of starting lineup
Irving scored 16 points and Kyle Korver had 14 for the Cavaliers, who have posted three straight double-digit wins over Toronto. If we can isolate one discouraging thing then in particular, it would the Cavs' relative lack of urgency as the game began.

The official said Tuesday that sharing the information "could be a risk for our sources".

He did not deny that Trump shared classified information with senior Russian diplomats, and he divulged that Trump spontaneously shared details about an Islamic State threat with a country that the USA intelligence community agrees intervened in the 2016 presidential election to Trump's benefit.

Cybersecurity experts say the unknown hackers used a hole in Microsoft software that was discovered by the National Security Agency. They would surely lose their security clearance.

Senior Republican John McCain, a senator from Arizona, said the report of Mr Trump sharing the information with Russian Federation was "deeply disturbing". As a result, he was thrown off the Senate Intelligence Committee and earned the nickname "Leaky Leahy".

Burkhard Lischka said in a statement to The Associated Press that "if it proves to be true that the American president passed on internal intelligence matters that would be highly worrying".

But if this new report is accurate, then a rubicon has been crossed that can not be retraced. He added that he wants the House intelligence committee fully briefed on what, if anything, was shared with the Russian officials.

The story prompted Sen.

The intelligence relates to what is known as a sensitive access program, or SAP, which covers some of the most classified information and is protected with unique access and security protocols.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore." who had just had a root canal " read reporters a statement he scrawled out in the dentist's chair after learning about the story. "It could harm our national security by cutting off important sources of intelligence that protect Americans against terrorist acts", Wyden said. "I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so we can focus on our agenda, which is deregulation, tax reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson disputed the report. Reporters spent much of the evening camped out adjacent to Press Secretary Sean Spicer's office, hoping for answers.