Saturday, November 18, 2017
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‘I Have The Absolute Right…’ Trump Defends Revealing Sensitive Information To Russian

Donald Trump defended sharing information with Russian officials in a White House meeting last week after the Washington Post reported that he told them sensitive intelligence about an Islamic State terrorist threat.

In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, the president said he had the “absolute right” to reveal “facts” to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak for “humanitarian reasons.”

“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

His statement is vastly different than the one offered by his national security adviser H.R. McMaster to reporters outside the West Wing Monday night. McMaster denied that the president disclosed “intelligence sources or methods,” even though that was not what the Washington Post story alleged.

“The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false,” McMaster 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.”

Dina Powell, who serves as the deputy national security adviser for strategy, also denied the story in a statement: “This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.”

 

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that in his meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, Trump “went off script and began describing details about an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.”

“I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” Trump said, according to the Washington Post report.

Officials told the Post: “The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government.”