WASHINGTON (AP)—President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to defend his sharing of information with the Russians.
Trump says he wanted to share with Russia “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.” He notes that as president, he has an “absolute right” to do this.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump divulged highly classified “code-word” information that could enable the Russians to trace the source of the intelligence.
Trump added a line in his tweet suggesting why he did it: “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”
National Security Adviser says everything was proper
H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said: “The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation. 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.”
White House officials said the president did not disclose intelligence sources or methods to the Russians, though officials did not deny that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting.
Russia denies classified revelations
Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman has denied reports that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to senior officials during the Russian minister’s visit to the Oval Office last week.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that the revelation put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, on Facebook on Tuesday described the reports as “yet another fake.”
The reports came several days after the White House faced criticism for a possible security breach after it allowed a Russian news service photographer into the Oval Office to snap photos of Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last week.
President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week, putting a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk, The Washington Post reported.