Trump accused of asking FBI to stop Flynn probe
- Author: Leroy Wright May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 16:39
Trump came under strong fire following revelations that he revealed intelligence secrets, which were obtained from an ally, when he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at the White House last week.
Trump said in his tweets, "I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining ... to terrorism and airline flight safety".
The White House scrambled to respond to the report Monday night, issuing several statements before sending H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser who participated in the meeting, out to speak with White House reporters. The president had been engaging in "routine sharing" with foreign leaders, he said, arguing that some of the information was publicly available. The committee also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to give the committee any notes that Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. "He wasn't briefed on the sources or method".
The officials said Trump's disclosures jeopardised a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
"As president I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety", Trump explained in a tweet. It was unclear which country passed on the intelligence to USA officials.
This latest stumble shows a leader once again indulging his vanity, boasting of his "great intel" and clumsily attempting to curry favor with Russian Federation, in the naive thought that doing so would somehow transform a hardened adversary that hacked the USA election into an ally.
The news reverberated around the world as countries started second-guessing their own intelligence-sharing agreements with the U.S.
"We see that, in the United States, a political schizophrenia is developing", Putin said.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said around midday Tuesday that he'd spent the morning trying to get someone at the White House to call him and explain what had actually happened.
Then a reporter asked if there's any concern about Trump disclosing information to other foreign leaders during his upcoming trip overseas.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, has also tangled with the media over the believability of her statements, saying earlier this year in a television appearance that Flynn had Trump's full confidence, hours before Trump fired him. That breakdown endangers not only this nation's security, but that of other nations as well.
In fact, the ally has repeatedly warned American officials that it would cut off access to such sensitive information if it were shared too widely, the former official said.
Such a shakeup would be unlikely to solve Trump's problem, the political communications veterans said, because Trump himself is the source of the problem.
The person who described the Comey memo to the AP was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
US officials with direct knowledge said "Trump may not have provided enough detail to the Russians to damage that source", the Wall Street Journal introduced.
The New York Times was first to report Israel was an intelligence source.
National Security Advisor HR McMaster denied the president revealed "intelligence sources or methods", but acknowledged that Trump and Lavrov "reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation". Trump has said he has a "right" to share information.
On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans alike expressed concern about the president's disclosures. Sen.