Trump Shared Sensitive Classified Information With Russian Officials — REPORT
The Washington Post reported Monday that President Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats during a recent meeting in the Oval Office, and in doing so, jeopardized the U.S. government's access to a crucial source of intelligence regarding the Islamic State. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 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. During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations."
According to the Post, the information Trump reportedly disclosed involved a threat by the Islamic State involving the use of laptops on airplanes. Sources told the Post that by revealing this information to Russia, Trump has threatened America's ability to receive cooperation from an ally with access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.
Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment on the report.
The disclosure reportedly took place during a recent visit to the White House by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, the latter of whom has been involved in several other controversies surrounding the Trump administration's communications with the Russian government.
"I get great intel," Trump reportedly told Lavrov, according to one of the Post's sources. "I have people brief me on great intel every day."
According to the Post, Trump revealed the nature of an Islamic State plot that had been obtained through an intelligence-sharing arrangement so classified that its details haven't been revealed to U.S. allies. Moreover, Trump allegedly disclosed the Middle East city in which the U.S.'s intelligence partner detected the plot. BuzzFeed confirmed the Post report, with one official claiming to the website that the nature of Trump's alleged disclosure is "far worse than what has already been reported."
"The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation," National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who participated in the meeting with the Russians, told the Post. "At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly."
American news organizations weren't allowed into Trump's meeting with the Russian diplomats, but Russian media was permitted to take photographs of it. The meeting took place the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Trump later cited "this Russia thing" while explaining his reasoning for firing Comey.
When informed about the report, Sen. John McCain told CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond, "If it's true, I would say it's disturbing." Sen. Bob Corker reacted by telling reporters that the Trump administration is "in a downward spiral right now," according to BuzzFeed.