ND politicians react to Russian intelligence controversy

Andrew Cummings
May 17, 2017

Mr Trump took to Twitter to insist he had the "absolute right" to share "facts pertaining.to terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russian Federation. He then shifted the focus from his conduct to prod the Federal Bureau of Investigation "to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community".

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Trump did not know the source of the information he disclosed to the Russians so could not have compromised the United States ally.

A USA president has the authority to disclose even the most highly classified information at will, but U.S. and allied officials said that by giving information to Russia, Trump had endangered cooperation from an ally that has intelligence on Islamic State.

Trump made a decision to mention the information in the "context of the conversation" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, McMaster told reporters in the White House, calling it "wholly appropriate to that conversation" and "consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leader with whom he's engaged".

Three White House officials who were in the May 10 meeting strongly denounced the Post story, saying no intelligence sources and methods were discussed — but they didnt deny that classified information was disclosed. "That's what he did". It was, perhaps, even more remarkable that Trump chose to confide in representatives of an adversary, who could use the information to find its source.

And, of course, there was the intelligence failures over the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the rationale that led to the 2003 invasion of the country. According to current and former US officials, such retaliation could happen tonight. Trump also "described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances", the Post wrote. It is extraordinary for a president to share such information without consent of the country that collected it, apparently violating the confidentiality of an intelligence-sharing agreement with Israel. What reasons would be enough to jeopardize the US relationship with its most important ally in the Middle East, Israel, now widely reported to be the source of the information?

Trump did not identify the particular method of intelligence gathering employed in the operation or the partner nation. But a number of GOP lawmakers expressed concerns, as Democrats demanded that Republicans finally stand up to their president.

Israel has in the past complained about the United States' inability to safeguard secrets.

The disclosures about the Oval Office meeting came as Trump prepares for his first foreign trip - a multi-stop itinerary that will take him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bethlehem in the West Bank, and the Vatican, as well as Brussels for European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings and back to Italy for a gathering of the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paused and answered simply "no" when asked whether he had concerns about the president's ability to properly handle classified information in wake of the revelations.

The two top Republicans in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were muted in their response to Trump giving information to Russian Federation.

The Kremlin isn't commenting on the details of the classified information that President Donald Trump shared with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador last week. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, said.

Typically, that has been interpreted to mean that the president has the ultimate authority to classify and to declassify information.

The White House vowed to track down those who disclosed the information.

"Once again we are faced with inexplicable stories coming from the White House that are highly troubling", said Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock in a statement. He also tweeted a veiled threat last Friday warning the ex-director against leaking information.

"The best information I have at this time comes directly from the widely-respected General McMaster who said the "premise" of the story that came out is false", said Cramer. Reports say before firing James Comey, Trump told him to lay off the investigation.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend his actions.

But where the information came from is a key piece of information, given that it could put operatives from a key ally at risk.

Other reports by iNewsToday