Trump Shared Secret Info About IS With Russians

GOP senator White House in ‘downward spiral

U.S. president Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation, two USA officials said on Monday, plunging the White House into another controversy just months into Trump's short tenure in office.

While the president has the authority to disclose even the most highly classified information at will, in this case he did so without consulting the ally that provided it, which threatens to jeopardise what they called a long-standing intelligence-sharing agreement, the US officials said.

"During President Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism". "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".

Trump is said to have described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm that an attack of that magnitude could cause.

Greg Miller, one of The Post reporters who broke the story, told NPR's Ari Shapiro on All Things Considered that by sharing the information from another country, it could damage future intelligence gathering and US relations with other partners.

In April, CNN first reported that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies believed that ISIS and other terrorist organizations had developed new ways to place explosives in laptops and other electronic devices to evade airport security screening methods.

"The story that came out tonight as reported is false".

"Russia could identify our sources or techniques", a senior official said, according to the Post. The United States has consulted about the intelligence with allied governments and airlines. The White House rebutted the story, saying no intelligence sources or methods were discussed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican leading one of four congressional probes into Russia's meddling in the USA elections, said he was not sure yet if Trump had leaked any intelligence to the Russians - noting that other stories have been inaccurate.

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Washington Post reporter Greg Miller, one of the co-authors of the story, told CNN that he stands by his report.

Sen. James Risch, an Idaho Republican, defended Trump on the story, telling reporters: "The minute the President speaks about it to someone, he has the ability to declassify anything at any time without any process". But a photographer from Russian state-media Tass attended the meeting and took photos of a laughing Trump with Lavrov and Kislyak.

Monday's reports of Trump revealing classified information to the Russians come just ahead of his first foreign trip as president.

"I was in the room", McMaster said.

But some of the European partners Trump will meet later in his trip have been more skeptical about his policies, including a controversial travel and immigration ban that's been blocked by USA courts. The Republican head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, called the allegations "very, very troubling" if true.

The tweetstorm began shortly after The Washington Post reported - and BuzzFeed, The New York Times and Reuters confirmed - that Trump disclosed highly sensitive anti-ISIS information with diplomats visiting the Oval Office last week.

Even before he was inaugurated, intelligence professionals anxious about sharing classified information with Trump, who often shoots from the hip.

Also talking with Maddow about the Post report was David Priess, who provided daily intelligence briefings to former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He said if it's true, it would be a slap in the face to the intel community. He added that he wants the House intelligence committee fully briefed on what, if anything, was shared with the Russian officials.

"If [the reports are] true, this is deeply disturbing. Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians". "The speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration", Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said in a statement.

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