Lawmakers want Trump to explain giving intelligence to Russian Federation

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

Trump has been defending himself this week after media reports claimed he shared sensitive intelligence with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said it was "wholly appropriate" and argued that it was based on publicly available information. The Post reported an official with knowledge of the meeting described Trump as saying: "I get great intel. That's what he did", he added.

Trump declared on Twitter Tuesday that it was his "absolute right" to share information with other countries.

President Trump on Tuesday defended his right to share "facts" about terrorism and airline safety with top Russian diplomats, amid reports that Israel supplied the once-secret information at the heart of the latest furor to engulf the White House.

"We want to get as many to help fight terrorism as possible".

"I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so we can focus on our agenda, which is deregulation, tax reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare", McConnell said in a televised interview with Bloomberg News Tuesday morning.

In a shock twist, the information reportedly came from a United States ally who had not authorised Washington to share it with Moscow, a potential blow to intelligence relationships based on trust that secrets will be kept.

Reports detailed how Trump bragged about American intelligence to two Russian officials before disclosing the details of a major anti-ISIS operation.

The tweets were Trump's first public remarks since the stories broke Monday evening.

As Washington debated whether Trump's own disclosures were appropriate, the president in a separate tweet protested news leaks about his administration - presumably in response to the anonymous sources in the Post story.

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Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill criticized the president for compromising US national security.

The life of a spy placed by Israel inside ISIS is at risk, according to current and former USA officials, after President Donald Trump reportedly disclosed classified information in a meeting with Russian officials last week. Trump was using a common acronym for the Islamic State group, also commonly referred to as IS.

HORSLEY: Well, the concern is that in sharing the information, Trump might have compromised future intelligence gathering operations. That's because the Post's report feeds "into the narrative of how maverick Trump runs his presidency, something that does not instill too much confidence", according to Hantec Markets blog. The newspaper said it was withholding details of the intelligence, such as the name of the city, to avoid jeopardizing intelligence capabilities.

McMaster stated that the president did not know the source for the laptop explosive threat, or where the information originated.

The U.S. now bans laptops on flights from 10 airports in the Middle East.

HR McMaster added that none of the United States officials present for the president's Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister last week "felt in any way that that conversation was inappropriate". He wasn't briefed on the source or method of the information either. The information that had been alluded to in recent news reports was said to be so sensitive it was withheld from USA allies and restricted within the US government.

The briefing comes as lawmakers have demanded reports from the White House on what exactly Trump told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the US.

As President, Trump has the power to disclose classified information as he chooses.

No United States media were invited in for the meeting, but a photographer from TASS, the Russian state media organization, was in the room for at least part of the meeting.

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