Trump shared secret info about IS with Russians
SOURCE:WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials during a meeting last week, The Washington Post reported Monday. The White House rebutted the story, saying no intelligence sources or methods were discussed.
The newspaper cited current and former U.S. officials who said Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The threat was related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.
President Donald Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster denied a report that Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials.
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster denied a report that Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials.
The anonymous officials told the Post that the information Trump relayed during the May 10 meeting had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. They said it was considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government.
“I was in the room, it didn’t happen,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, told reporters outside the White House late Monday.
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“The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation,” McMaster said. “At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”
He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, remember the meeting the same way. “Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources” in the news report, he said.
But while White House officials denied that any intelligence sources or methods were discussed, they did not deny that Trump shared the information about the use of laptop computers on aircraft. The Post story does not claim that Trump revealed any specific information about how the intelligence was gathered.
The story will only heighten Trump’s strained relations with intelligence workers and former officials, who have expressed worry about sharing classified information with a former New York business magnate who often shoots from the hip.
It’s unlikely that Trump has broken any law
A president has wide berth to reveal classified information, but critics already have denounced Trump for having too cozy a relationship with Russia, which intelligence and military officials view as an adversary. If true, the breach was ill-timed, coming a day after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election.
The Post said the intelligence partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russian officials. By doing so, Trump jeopardized cooperation from an ally familiar with the inner workings of the Islamic State group.
Afterward, White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency, the newspaper said.