Trump Shared Info From US Ally with Russians
Trump shared info from US ally with Russians according to The Washington Post. According to the newspaper Trump described details to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak during a meeting last week. The details apparently involved how ISIS hopes to use laptop computers as bombs on planes. Trump said, “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” one official with knowledge told the Post – he described Trump as saying this, before the President reportedly relayed specific intelligence.
Several Congressional Members Offer Their Opinions
A bipartisan group of senators appeared surprised on Monday when told about the information. Members of the Senate Intelligence committee said they were not briefed on the matter. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Caroline told reporters that the report was “troubling, if true.” Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia tweeted about the story, “If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians.” Sen. James Risch, an Idaho Republican, defended Trump on the story, telling the reporters: “The minute the President speaks about it to someone, he has the ability to declassify anything at any time without any process.”
In July House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying “individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ with classified information should be denied further access to that type of information.” Today Sen. Chris Murray (D-Conn.) said, “If this story is true, it’s another brick in the wall of a really, really troubling connection between Trump and the Russian government.
The meeting at the White House last week was already raising alarms for bad optics in the wake of questions surrounding Trump’s ties to the Kremlin. According to the Post Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The US did not have permission to share the intel information with Russia and Trump’s decision to do so risks the future cooperation of a key ally.
“This is code-word information,” said a US official familiar with the matter. The official used terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by the government. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
Different members of Trump’s team have reacted in different ways which have ranged from denial, denial, denial to trying to calm the situation at the meeting held last week, saying the information and the threat is being exaggerated.