Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump Disclosing Classified Information Isn't Illegal - Here's Why

Trump Disclosing Classified Information Isn't Illegal - Here's Why

McMcaster did not deny that Trump discussed classified information, however.

In a series of morning tweets, Trump declared he has "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation. The president had been engaging in "routine sharing" with foreign leaders, he said, arguing that some of the information was publicly available.

"Obviously, they're in a downward spiral right now", he said of the White House. Foreign governments that share information with the United States will now consider cutting off access.

The new details about their concerns come amid mounting questions about whether Trump himself has been careless with the nation's secrets.

Citing unnamed sources, The Washington Post reported that Trump had shared intelligence with Lavrov regarding an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on airplanes.

The report said the spy's life was at risk because of the disclosure.

Citing a memo written by Mr Comey on a meeting with Mr Trump in the Oval Office, the report claims Mr Trump told the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Mr Flynn had done nothing wrong. "I have people brief me on great intel every day", just before revealing the intelligence. He's expected to be warmly received by Arab allies in Saudi Arabia, who welcomed his decision to launch missiles against a Syrian air base following a chemical weapons attack, and in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu views Trump as more favorable to his interests than former President Barack Obama.

None of that explains why the White House was reaching out to the CIA and National Security Agency to let them know what the president had revealed.

This latest stumble shows a leader once again indulging his vanity, boasting of his "great intel" and clumsily attempting to curry favor with Russian Federation, in the naive thought that doing so would somehow transform a hardened adversary that hacked the US election into an ally.

"Never before have I witnessed a senior government official so carelessly threaten an intelligence-sharing relationship", a former senior intelligence official told CNN. "If it is political, it's a problem", the official said, predicting that few applicants would find the agency appealing if Trump chooses a politician to replace Comey.

The U.S. and Western officials all spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive information.

That sounds a lot more like a confirmation of the Washington Post story than a denial.

While the White House argued later in the morning that Trump's statement was not an admission that he had shared classified information, an official with knowledge of the exchange told The Post that he had.

A breach of trust raises the possibility that USA friends might curtail such intelligence partnerships out of concern their secrets — and their sources and methods — could end up in the wrong hands.

"The president wasn't even aware where this information came from", McMaster said.

While denying access to USA media, Trump allowed the Russian ambassador, the foreign minister and their photographer into the Oval Office, where he blurted out top-secret information.

Burr, a Republican, and Sen.

That classified information reportedly came from a USA partner and was so sensitive that it had not been shared with US allies and was even restricted within the US government.

Borger's source, who speaks with Trump, describes a commander in chief who feels under siege, blames his staff and is thinking about next steps to get his administration back on track.

Asked if President can be trusted with classified information, Republican Bob Corker, a Tennessee senator, told reporters "sure" and shrugged.

President Donald Trump might have shared highly classified information with Russian Federation, but as scandalous as that might sound, he probably didn't break the law.

Obstruction of justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, the man who was leading an investigation of the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation. The communications team, in particular, has come in for sharp criticism from the president, as well as his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. 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.

Associated Press writers Vivian Salama and Jill Colvin contributed. AP writer Jan M. Olsen also contributed.

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