Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Trump Reportedly Disclosed Highly Classified Info to Russians in Meeting

Trump Reportedly Disclosed Highly Classified Info to Russians in Meeting

President Trump might have leaked classified information to the Russian government, the Washington Post reported Monday, and for perhaps the first time in his scandal-soaked presidency, Republicans on Capitol Hill did not immediately rise to his defense.

"The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced", Powell told reporters gathered at the White House.

"Longtime friends and outside advisers" suggest President Trump is venting over a potential shakeup which "could take awhile", per the report.

"I have no idea if it's true".

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC told reporters that the report was "troubling, if true". "I mean, what could be more important?" "All leaders should be held to same standard".

The newspaper cited current and former USA officials who said Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus pointed out that just last week, Trump himself claimed "that his aides' information wouldn't always be accurate" - a statement made as the administration's lies about the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey unraveled.

What was specifically revealed is murky, but the Post reported that the US partner had not given permission for the information to be shared with Russian Federation, a major breach of intelligence protocol.

Though an angry White House official told CNN they felt "tricked" by the Russians, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "proper protocol was followed" by not allowing media into the meeting.

He told the Salt Lake Tribune's Thomas Burr that "of course" he still trusts Trump with classified information, and added that the House Intelligence Committee should review the validity of the Post's report. "During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations".

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"I was there. It didn't happen", McMaster concluded, then turned around and re-entered the West Wing without answering reporters' questions.

CNN has previously reported that the U.S. government was concerned that even revealing some specific details about efforts to counter the ISIS plot would endanger sources and methods, even if sources and methods were not specifically described. He's set to depart on Friday, traveling to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, then attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels, Belgium, and a G7 meeting in Italy. Although presidents have the legal right to declassify intelligence as they see fit, doing so can put intelligence sources overseas in danger and make them less willing to work with the US, several defense officials said.

Chris Murphy of CT, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is waiting for Republicans to see this as a red flag to prioritize investigations into Trump's reported ties with Russian Federation.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote,"If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also slammed Trump and called for a briefing.

"This certainly raises questions about whether the president recognizes the serious implications of disclosing such sensitive information to an adversary", Engel said.

While Washington shook, Republicans addressed the issue carefully.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California said in a statement Monday that "this disclosure could jeopardize sources of very sensitive intelligence and relationships we have with key partners". House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed hope, through a spokesperson, for a "full explanation" from the administration as to what had happened - a "whoa if true" sentiment that was echoed by other prominent lawmakers in the GOP.

Matthew Schofield, Lesley Clark and Lindsay Wise contributed to this article.

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