Just the facts: Trump disclosure a breach of trust, if not law

Just the facts: Trump disclosure a breach of trust, if not law

The highly classified information about an Islamic State plot was collected by Israel, a crucial source of intelligence and close partner in the fight against some of the America's fiercest threats in the Middle East. Trump's disclosure of the information threatened to fray that partnership and piled pressure on the White House to explain the apparently on-the-spot decision to reveal the information to Russian diplomats in a meeting last week.

"It is premature to come to a conclusion based on media reports built on anonymous sources", said Sen. McConnell said he'd read the story first reported in The Washington Post, and also said he'd read a statement from H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, "which tends to rebut the story".

Trump said in a tweet earlier Tuesday that he had the authority to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation. "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".

He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, remember the meeting the same way. He said Trump discussed a range of subjects with the Russians, including "common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism".

"I have not talked to Mr Bossert about that, about why he reached out", Lt Gen McMaster said. The Washington Post reported that Mr. Trump divulged information designated at a level above top secret.

"I don't know what's more extraordinary: the fact US intelligence officials reportedly warned another country about disclosing sensitive intelligence to the incoming administration, or the fact that this warning appears to have been warranted". Still, it will only heighten Trump's strained relations with intelligence workers and former officials, who view Russian Federation as an adversary.

According to officials, the information had been supplied by a United States ally - identified by some media outlets as Israel - in the fight against the militant group.

The conversation came hours after he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was probing his election team over links to the Kremlin.

According to the Times, Comey wrote in the February memo that Trump told him Flynn had done nothing wrong. NPR's Mara Liasson said on NPR podcast Up First that what Trump is accused of doingis "lawful but terrible". The president can declassify anything he wants - just by saying it.

President Trump didn't appear to break any law by sharing highly classified information with Russian Federation, but that doesn't make it any less problematic for America's intelligence agencies and their overseas partners.

Afterward, White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency, the newspaper said.

The Post said homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Thomas Bossert called the directors of the CIA and the National Security Agency afterward. But a number of GOP lawmakers expressed concerns, as Democrats demanded that Republicans finally stand up to their president.

Version One: White House aides initially disputed the premise of the reporting.

"The shame of it is there's a really good national security team in place and there are good, productive things that are under way through them and through others", Corker said.

"My major concern right now is that I don't know what the president said", Burr said.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called for an immediate briefing for the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which she is a member.

He said: "The President wasn't even aware of where this information came from - he wasn't even briefed on the source or method of this information either".

"That the Russians would be the potential recipients of this intelligence and may be able to determine its source is all the more problematic, since the Russian interest in Syria and elsewhere is, in many respects, deeply antithetical to our own", Schiff said. "We continue to work with the United States and continue to share intelligence with the United States as we do with others around the world because we are all working together to deal with the threats that we face".

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