Israel was source of intel Trump shared with Russians
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 19, 2017,
May 19, 2017, 18:38
Mr Trump took to Twitter to defend his actions, stating he had "the absolute right" to share "facts" with Russian Federation.
Across Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats alike are voicing frustration, distrust and irritation following the constant stream of controversies coming out of the White House.
What did Trump reveal in the White House meeting?"I have been asking [sacked FBI] director [James] Comey and others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the leakers in the intelligence community", he tweeted.
McMaster also revealed that Trump was not briefed on the source of the information he shared with Lavrov and Kislyak. The Russian President asked that they meet when he spoke with Trump earlier this month.
The CIA is declining to comment.
Trump himself claimed the authority to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation, saying in a pair of tweets he has "an absolute right" as president to do so.
The information the president discussed with the Russian officials in the Oval Office was classified as sensitive compartmented information - that is, concerning sensitive intelligence sources or methods - and it had been circulated among select top US intelligence and law enforcement officials for some time, spanning both the Obama and Trump administrations.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also tried to discredit the story, saying the president did not disclose intelligence "sources" or "methods", but like McMaster he did not actually refute the Post's claims.
Burr added: "I'd like to think somebody from the White House who was in the room is going to get on the phone and tell me what they said".
The Trump administration has come under intense scrutiny over accusations that the president's aides had colluded with Russian officials during last year's presential campaign.
The White House on Tuesday defended Trump discussing with the Russians an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft. He said he made a decision to do so for "humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS [the militant Islamic State group or IS] and terrorism".
The official said the information was provided to the U.S.by Israel.
McMaster told reporters everything discussed in that meeting was already publicly available.
Thus far, Trump denies that he gave Russian Federation any intelligence that was classified.
Trump has been under investigation for possible collusion between his associates and the Kremlin.
Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 for his first official visit to the country.
Then, last week, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who had led the bureau's probe into the president's links with Russian Federation.
McMaster has previously said Trump and Lavrov "reviewed common threats from terrorist organisations to include threats to aviation".