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National Security Adviser McMaster: Trump's Revelations to Russians 'Wholly Appropriate'

National Security Adviser McMaster: Trump's Revelations to Russians 'Wholly Appropriate'

The president didn't deny reports out Monday night that he had shared classified information with Russian officials, or that administration officials had sought to contain the damage at the highest levels of the national security apparatus.

HORSLEY: Right. Those reports first appeared in The Washington Post, saying that in his meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister, Trump revealed classified information that was so sensitive, it had not been widely shared, even within the USA government. It's unclear whether the USA informed the Israelis it might share the information with the Russians, who have different allies in the region - notably Iran.

The White House was in damage control mode over media reports Monday that Trump disclosed highly classified information from an ally with Russian Federation. Earlier officials staunchly defended Mr Trump's disclosure of classified information to senior Russian officials.

What may be even more damaging, Nephew says, is if allies limit the intelligence shared to "low-level information". He wasn't briefed on the source or method of the information either.

"That story had not yet broken (when we got there)", Freeland said in an interview.

The loss of trust also poses an immediate security risk, as the USA will be unable to learn "about emergent threats, problems that are coming across the transom that governments need to deal with", Nephew said.

Trump's subsequent disclosures appeared to flow from two of his deepest flaws, vanity and an obtuseness about the regime of Vladimir Putin.

"The story that came out tonight as reported is false", H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, told reporters at the White House, adding that the leaders reviewed a range of common threats including to civil aviation. Such sharing "could be a risk for our sources", the official said.




According to the New York Times, the intelligence Trump shared belongs to Israel, one of the U.S.'s primary military and intelligence partners. The Associated Press and other news outlets subsequently confirmed similar details.

But in between incessant references to what he thinks may be "wholly appropriate", the president's national security advisor seemed to accidentally add an important detail: Trump, McMaster said, wasn't even "aware of where this [intelligence] came from". But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it.

And then, the next day, The New York Times reported new allegations that Trump asked James Comey, whom he later sacked as director of the FBI, to close the investigation into contacts between the president's then national security adviser, Mike Flynn, and Russian Federation.

Donald Trump and the White House have sought to brush off the controversy over his sharing of highly sensitive material with Russian Federation, as concerns grew that nations may decide to stop their intelligence cooperation. In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump acknowledged that he had shared the information, said that he had an "absolute right" to do so, and he had done so to encourage Russian Federation to ramp up its efforts against the Islamic State.

When does President Donald Trump's inexperience and incompetence become a clear and present danger to America's national security? Aides have said he hopes for a full explanation from the White House. "I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community", Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Responding to McMaster's defense, Dan Pfeiffer, a former top official in Barack Obama's White House, wrote, "You can not overstate how unprepared and ill-suited Trump is for the presidency and how poorly his White House is run". He used that phrase nine times in his briefing to reporters.

"This is perhaps the gravest allegation of presidential misconduct in the scandal-ridden four months of the Trump administration", the blog said.

The Israelis said they had full confidence in the intelligence-sharing relationship with the US, contradicting reports earlier this year that the Israelis had considered withholding secrets from Trump, at the urging of American colleagues anxious about their own boss.


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