Trump's tweets tried to explain away the news, which emerged late Monday, that he had shared sensitive, "code-word" information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week, a disclosure that intelligence officials warned could jeopardize a crucial intelligence source on the Islamic State.
According to the Times report, the conversation between Trump and Comey took place in the Oval Office on February 14-the day after Flynn resigned amid scandal following the Post's report that the former general had misled White House officials, notably Vice President Mike Pence, about whether he discussed election-related sanctions against Moscow with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
PRESIDENT Trump has hit back at reports he shared classified information with Russia's foreign minister at the White House, saying he had the "absolute right" to reveal what he did. The nature of specific threats was discussed, he said, but not sources, methods or military operations.
A third diplomatic source representing a country that shares intelligence with both Russian Federation and the USA told CNN that since Trump's reported revelations seemed to be a mistake, there is less concern than if the information was deliberately shared by the CIA to another country.
"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, told the newspaper. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the reports "deeply disturbing" and said they could affect the willingness of USA allies and partners to share intelligence with the U.S.
"We appreciate the strong relationship we have with Israel", Spicer said in off-camera comments to reporters.
Later Tuesday, Trump told reporters he'd had a "very, very successful meeting" with Lavrov.
The revelation initially appeared in a Monday report by The Washington Post.
On Capitol Hill, Democrats sought to seize on Mr Trump's actions.
Trump's tweets Tuesday morning indicated that he did share some information with his Russian visitors. "It didn't happen." "This is the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president of the United States", legal expert Alan Dershowitz told CNNlate on Monday.
US officials told the paper the disclosures may have endangered a key intelligence source involved with the campaign against ISIS.
There's no question, Republicans say, that the controversies of the last week have been a distraction at best - and have further discouraged Democrats from wanting to play a role in advancing virtually any element of a GOP agenda.
Sen. Chris Murphy, like Himes a Connecticut Democrat, also expressed worry over the effect of Trump's disclosure on close relationships between USA intelligence and foreign counterparts. 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.
The Post said the intelligence partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russian officials.
"All of you are familiar with the threat from ISIS", McMaster said on Tuesday.
"Disclosing sensitive or classified information that wasn't even generated by us to hostile foreign governments will not only hamper our ability to get intelligence from our allies in the future, it will also undermine our ability to collect vital information we need to pursue our interests", she said. He also said Trump wasn't aware of the source of the information during the conversation with the Russians.
The news reverberated around the world as countries started second-guessing their own intelligence-sharing agreements with the U.S.
This is actually a pretty familiar defence from the White House, which has often maintained that the things Trump does within his presidential authority are inherently okay simply because they are within his authority.
To be clear, there's no issue of legality here; the President has the right to say whatever he wants to whoever he wants.
Due to their committee assignments, both Murphy and Himes are exposed to an almost-daily flow of intelligence information, some of it firm and some highly suspect. Collins is a member of that committee.
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