The Post story does not claim that Trump revealed any specific information about how the intelligence was gathered. The US obtained the information on an Islamic State group plot from Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries, the Times reported.
He's absolutely correct: He was well within his rights as president to share even what the Post termed "highly classified" intelligence with another country, especially about something as ugly as a terrorist threat.
Several other publications quickly picked up the story.
SHAPIRO: Explain why it would be concerning that the president would disclose information like that to the Russians.
As for White House officials who attended the meeting, their on-the-record denials of some of the details in the Post report on Monday evening were adamant and convincing.
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster exits White House press conference regarding Trump, Russia allegations.
In the weeks before Trump took office, Obama administration officials were so concerned by the Trump transition team's handling of classified documents that they moved swiftly to exert more control over the sensitive materials, according to two former US officials. In a single week, Trump fired the FBI director, told different stories about why, became the target of a congressional investigation that's expanding into money-laundering, shared intelligence with Russian Federation, offered shifting explanations for the latter, and then wound up being accused of wading into a police investigation.
U.S. president Donald Trump is under pressure from USA politicians, including his fellow Republicans, to explain why he shared highly sensitive intelligence information with senior Russian officials at a meeting in the Oval Office last week. Trump's admission that he shared information with the Russians raised questions about the right of the president to release sensitive intelligence, even classified information.
The optics of this are not good for Trump's credibility or his claims that the Russian Federation story is false. Now, two Comey associates tell NPR Trump, in their meeting, asked Comey to make the investigation of Michael Flynn go away.
Western allies, including Britain and Germany, have also been wary of Trump's warmness toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was kicked out of the summit of leading economic powers after Moscow's annexation of territory from Ukraine. We've also heard from the top Republican on the House oversight committee who says he needs to see that Comey memo if it exists. After Trump's meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency. They're just not quite willing to say that the problem is President Trump, as it obviously is.
The original Washington Post article made exactly this point.
Collins said any disclosure "has the potential to jeopardize sources and to discourage our allies from sharing future information vital to our security", while King told Portland-based NBC affiliate WCSH it could "result in the loss of important intelligence sources and the cooperation of partners".
"That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed", an Israeli intelligence officer told Buzzfeed.
Trump departs on Friday for his first overseas trip as president, traveling to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium on visits that will test his foreign policy skills.
The officials, who were not authorised to discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Israel previously had urged the United States to be careful about the handling of the intelligence that Mr Trump discussed.
Trump's main guest at last week's meeting was Lavrov, the leading promoter of Russian foreign policies that are often sharply at odds with USA aims in Syria and Europe.
"So to suggest that - which I think is the nut of the question - why wouldn't we want to share a common threat and the efforts that both countries are taking to eradicate a threat that we both feel?"
Eliot Cohen, a former counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under President George W. Bush, said on Twitter that if Trump had given the classified material to the Russians deliberately, "it would be treason". It also reveals a disturbing lack of understanding about Russia's role in Syria.
Oh come on. The U.S. and Israel have had many close encounters of the awkward kind - some at least as awkward - since President Harry Truman announced the formal U.S. recognition of the just-formed Jewish state in May 1948. Russian Federation has also focused much of its military firepower on anti-Assad forces while largely ignoring Islamic State.
It is likely that this story will only become more complicated and potentially compromising for Trump. This was described as an ask, not a command, but Comey was concerned about it.
In fact, everything about Trump's engagement with the Russian officials reflected the gross inadequacy of his knowledge of foreign affairs as well as the weakness of the staff and processes he has put in place to aid him. Bob Corker made a splash on Monday afternoon when he stated that the White House was in a "downward spiral".
"Can we have a crisis-free day?"
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