Trump's intel disclosure to Russia put spy in danger

Sen. John McCain
Sen. John McCain
Author

17 May, 2017

Yet U.S. allies and some members of Congress expressed concern bordering on alarm. He said Trump was not even aware of the intelligence sources and methods behind the information, so he could not have revealed them to the Russians.

The meeting with the Russians came a day after the firing, and was controversial in itself - a red carpet welcome for Russian President Vladimir Putin's top aides months after Russia was hit with U.S. sanctions for meddling in the election. The official spoke only on condition that neither he nor his country be identified, because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. According to The New York Times, there is also the risk that the information could be passed on to Iran, a close ally to Moscow and Tel Aviv's main threat in the region.

The White House vigorously denied the report.

While the White House originally said the decision to dismiss the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief was linked to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server controversy, Mr Trump later said in an interview with NBC that he had been considering firing Mr Comey for some time.

Trump fired Flynn on February 13.

As acting National Security Advisor, McMaster was in the room when the president supposedly shared classified intel about ISIS with Russian officials.

His efforts to distance himself from the Trump administration were even more clear when the topic of the town hall shifted to health care. On Friday, Trump will embark on his first foreign trip as president.

When Trump fired Comey, he said he did so based on Comey's very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and how it affected his leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Still, the revelations sent a White House accustomed to chaos reeling anew. The ambassador has been a central player in the snowballing controversy surrounding possible coordination between Trump's campaign and Russia's election meddling.

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Trump has frequently tasked aides and surrogates with delivering apparently false or misleading statements or to aggressively argue points that the president later contradicts. "If the report is true, it is very disturbing", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of the Democrats. Other lawmakers agreed, and said it must be soon.

Republicans were more circumspect but also clearly upset.

In a shock twist, the intelligence reportedly came from a USA ally which did not authorise Washington to share it with Moscow, and this could shatter trust that is essential to intelligence and counter-terrorism cooperation.

"I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so that we can focus on our agenda", he told Bloomberg Business.

According to the Times, Comey wrote in the February memo that Trump told him Flynn had done nothing wrong.

"I believe that the president is desperate for attention and needs psychological help", she said in a statement. "This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr Comey".

"That conversation was wholly appropriate to the conversation".

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser today denied the USA president compromised national security when he shared classified information about the Islamic State with Russian officials, saying the leaders had a "wholly appropriate" discussion at the White House last week.


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