Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Trump responds to reports that he revealed classified info to Russia

Trump's national security adviser, HR McMaster, was also quick to deny the information.

The most potentially damaging allegation is that what Trump told Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak compromised an intelligence source.

The information that Trump allegedly shared is so secret and important, that the USA hadn't even shared it with its closest allies yet, and the details hadn't even reached most of the United States government yet. McMaster denied that the president disclosed "intelligence sources or methods", even though that was not what the Washington Post story alleged.

Mr Trump's move is not illegal, as the USA president has the authority to declassify information.

By doing so, Trump would have jeopardized cooperation from an ally familiar with the inner workings of the Islamic State group, and make other allies - or even USA intelligence officials - wary about sharing future top secret details with the president.

Even before he was inaugurated, intelligence professionals anxious about sharing classified information with Trump, who often shoots from the hip. He notes that as president, he has an "absolute right" to do this. "You could jeopardize our sources, relationships and security".

The spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said she had received dozens of messages asking about the reports, which have been denied by the White House.

In a follow-up tweet, Trump said he had asked ousted FBI Director James Comey and others "from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community".

"What the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation", McMaster said at a news briefing.

More specifically, the information may have revealed a specific Islamic State (Isis) plot, including details on location. "Once it is publicized, ISIS can do an investigation and find the source", Yatom said. adding "or Russian Federation can find the source". Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaking about the disclosures on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday.

It's become a familiar scenario in the crisis-prone Trump White House, where big news breaks fast and the aides paid to respond seem perpetually caught off-guard.

Following The Washington Post's bombshell report Monday night that President Trump went "off script" and revealed classified intelligence information to Russians last week, right-wing websites like Fox News, Drudge Report, Gateway Pundit, and Breitbart have all buried the news and focused instead on reports that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had allegedly leaked "thousands" of internal emails to WikiLeaks. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State's territory where the US intelligence partner detected the threat.

On Monday reports emerged that he had shared highly classified information with the two men during the meeting.

Now, just a few days before Trump's debut on the global stage, he's giving allies new reasons to worry.

Lawmakers from both parties called the report disturbing, while America's allies were said to be shaken and re-evaluating whether they can share intelligence with the United States. "We don't want to have anything do to with this nonsense", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Last week, after unexpectedly firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey, the White House originally claimed that the president was acting in response to a memo provided by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

"Obviously, they're in a downward spiral right now, and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips (with) all that's happening", Corker said.

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