Trump shared secret info about IS militants with Russians

Jerome Frank
May 16, 2017

President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials during a meeting last week, The Washington Post reported Monday, prompting strong condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans.

In a shock twist, the intelligence reportedly came from a USA ally who did not authorize Washington to share it with Moscow. The administration deflected any reason for alarm by maintaining that Trump discussed "a broad range of subjects" with the Russian officials. He said Trump did not reveal any military operations that were not already available to the public, noting Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed the same thing.

McMaster had previously told the Post that Trump and the Russian officials discussed "common threats".

One of the officials said the intelligence discussed by Trump in his meeting with Lavrov was classified "Top Secret" and held in a secure "compartment" to which only a handful of intelligence officials have access. The United States has consulted about the intelligence with allied governments and airlines.

The intelligence shared at the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was supplied by a USA ally in the fight against the militant group, both officials said.

Washington Post reported that the United States was not given permission to share the material with Russian Federation. "I have people brief me on great intel every day", one official with knowledge told the Post described Trump as saying, before the President reportedly relayed specific intelligence.

Trump's meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the USA - where he spilled the information - came one day after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the investigation of possible ties of collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

The visit was fraught with bad optics, and Kislyak's attendance - only confirmed by photos from Russian state media - was especially notable because he has been at the center of numerous Trump administration's controversies involving Russia. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., to tweet: "Protip: Don't give the Russians classified information".

McMaster says: "I was in the room.it didn't happen".

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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.

No US media were allowed into the meeting.

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

"They are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that's happening", Corker said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that Congress "must be given a full briefing on the extent of the damage President Trump has done in compromising highly classified code-word intelligence to the Russians". "Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians".

"If true, it is another indication that you can not possibly control this guy", Wayne White, who worked at the State Department under former President George W. Bush, told Politico.

"We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation's secrets is paramount", said Doug Andres, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: "If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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