USA lawmakers want Trump to explain giving intelligence to Russian Federation

Andrew Cummings
May 19, 2017

The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post reported that Trump's disclosures jeopardized intelligence on the Islamic State and said a Middle Eastern ally provided the information, with the understanding that it wouldn't be shared with other countries without permission.

President Trump's decision to share highly classified intelligence about an ISIS plot with Russian officials last week endangered the life of an Israeli spy embedded within the terror organization, ABC News reported Tuesday.

The Senate intelligence committee wants to be briefed by White House officials who were in the room when President Donald Trump met with Russian officials and apparently disclosed classified information.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump", said Israel's ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.

National security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster reaffirmed his comments on Tuesday that whatever Mr. Trump shared with Russian officials, it was "wholly appropriate" for him to do so.

President Donald Trump, with a pair of early Tuesday tweets, defended his sharing of some information with Russian diplomats last week, saying he did so for "humanitarian reasons". "During that exchange, the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations", Tillerson said.

But the president insisted he had the "absolute right" to share "facts terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russian Federation.

He cast some of Trump's revelations as information that was available from publicly available "open-source reporting" and added that the president did not know the precise source of the intelligence he had shared, suggesting that Trump could not have compromised confidential sources.

The White House would not comment on Israel being the source.

Senior Republican John McCain, a senator from Arizona, said the report of Mr Trump sharing the information with Russian Federation was "deeply disturbing".

Mark WarnerMark WarnerSenate Intel leaders request briefing with officials in Trump-Russia meeting White House defends Trump on classified intel report Ransomware attack: Where it stands MORE (Va.).

"This was the context of the conversation in which it was wholly appropriate to share what the threat was as a basis for common action and coordination", McMaster said. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism".

The disclosures roiled the administration as it struggled to move past the backlash over Trump's abrupt firing on May 9 of FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Virginia Sen.

According to AP, Mr Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence during the meeting with Mr Lavrov.

"I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community", Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Other reports by iNewsToday