Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Russia denies Trump shared classified secrets

Russia denies Trump shared classified secrets

"It's disturbing and let's find out what the details are", said Sen. If it wasn't classified, then why didn't he tell all of us? "What [Trump] shared was wholly appropriate".

While Trump maintains he wants a better relationship with Russian Federation, members of Congress have criticized Moscow for its role in the Syria civil war, saying it is helping Bashar al-Assad's government kill his opponents in the name of fighting the Islamic State terrorism - and at the same time destabilizing an array of Western governments. Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of state, remember it being the same way and have said so. The source - who is in touch with current officials - says "details were discussed that should not have been discussed".

"Although the president has the legal authority to disclose classified information, it would be very troubling if he did share such sensitive reporting with the Russians".

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the Post and Times reports were false in a statement to the press Monday night.

That appeared to put him at odds with members of his own senior staff. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster denied on Monday that Trump had revealed intelligence sources and methods or military operations at the Russian Federation meeting.

Earlier in the day, McMaster ran into a group of reporters gathered in the White House seeking comment on the story.

Tillerson said Trump discussed a range of subjects, including "common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism".

"At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed", he said.

Russian Federation is not considered a US ally. The New York Times said in a subsequent report that they could confirm that reporting.

Donald Trump either has nothing to hide about his relationship with Russian Federation - or he is hiding in plain sight, as all good con artists do. His tweets came minutes after a spokeswoman for Russia's foreign ministry described the reports in a post on Facebook as "yet another fake".

The revelations could further damage Mr Trump's already fraught relationship with USA intelligence agencies.

He has openly questioned the competency of intelligence officials and challenged their high-confidence assessment that Russian Federation meddled in last year's presidential election to help him win.

However, the United States leader has stated that he fired him after growing exhausted of hearing about the FBI investigation into his campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation.

Early responses to the bombshell report indicate that, if true, handling sensitive details in this manner would have broad implications on USA partnerships around the world and could place the lives of agents in the field at risk.

Last week, Trump threw his administration into turmoil by taking the rare step of firing his Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

According to The Washington Post's source, the partner had not given the United States permission to share the information.

Trump's decision to reveal the information could further fray ties with the intelligence community. The revelation also prompted cries of hypocrisy.

"Crooked Hillary Clinton and her team 'were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.' Not fit!" wrote Trump on Twitter last July.

USA media said Mr Trump had shared material that was passed on by a partner which had not given permission.

The U.S. official said that Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence in last week's meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak.

Image: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Trump.

The Senate's top Republican says "we can do with a little less drama from the White House" so the GOP can focus on advancing the party's legislative agenda.

The controversy engulfed the White House.

He did not address whether the information he shared was classified.

Like this: