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Trump responds to report he shared intelligence with Russian Federation

17 Mai 2017

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted he had the right to share "facts" with Russian Federation, saying he acted to help Moscow in its "fight against ISIS and terrorism".

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said on Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump did not have an inappropriate conversation or one that caused a lapse in national security when he met with senior Russian officials last week at the White House.

A president has wide berth to reveal classified information, but critics already have denounced Trump for having too cozy a relationship with Russian Federation, which intelligence and military officials view as an adversary. He used the words "wholly appropriate" nine separate times.

Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday he had an "absolute right" to share facts with Russian Federation so that it can be more active in fighting Islamic State militants. As many have pointed out, the Post's report never accused Trump of discussing sources, methods or military operations.

The report claims that Trump relayed sensitive details gathered through an intelligence-sharing arrangement with an allied nation. He's emphasizing here that presidential authority gives him the right to share such information - which is broadly true - in a way that betrays the kind of information that was shared.

The anonymous officials told the Post that the information Trump relayed during the Oval Office meeting had been provided by a USA partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement.

"This is what Europeans have been worrying about", one Western official said.

Republicans and Democrats alike are voicing frustration, distrust and irritation Tuesday with the constant stream of controversies coming out of the White House. Yet his decision to discuss an ally's information on the Islamic State with other countries could damage his standing with world leaders and lead some countries to start second-guessing their own intelligence-sharing agreements with the U.S.

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.

"I think you're going to see some national media use language like illegality".

In a series of Tweets Tuesday morning, the president said that he discussed facts related to airline safety and terrorism out of "humanitarian" concerns and in an effort to prompt Russian Federation to take a stronger stand against ISIS.

In an earlier tweet, Trump said he has the "absolute right" to share information and did so for "humanitarian reasons". Brownlee said he hopes the meeting between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov "is a step towards that".

"We do not want to have anything to do with this nonsense".

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McMaster confirmed that Trump also disclosed the city in ISIS-held Syria from which that intelligence emanated.

Asked why the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency were put on notice if the revelations were not problematic, McMaster cast the notification as being provided "from an overabundance of caution".

She expressed concern that Trump's "disclosure of highly classified information has the potential to jeopardize sources and to discourage our allies from sharing future information vital to our security".

The CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have declined to comment.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida who serves on the Senate intelligence committee, told CNN that he had heard from the White House Monday evening after news of the breach broke, but he still didn't have complete clarity into what happened.

The U.S. official said that Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence in last week's meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak. We don't know if these sources lied, misrepresented what went on in the Trump meeting with the Russians, or were second-guessing what Trump told them.

"I have great confidence in our alliance", Turnbull said. "The story that came out tonight as reported is false", McMaster said without elaborating on which elements were wrong. "At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known".

Which means that we must contend with the possibility that Trump's relationship with the truth is even more disconnected than common forms of politically expedient evasions, exaggerations, and lies. He's openly questioned the competency of intelligence officials and challenged their high-confidence assessment that Russian Federation meddled in last year's presidential election to help him win. So far no one in the GOP's leadership on Capitol Hill is calling for an independent investigation or a special committee to investigate any Trump ties to Russian Federation.

The disclosure also risks harming his credibility with US partners around the world ahead of his first overseas trip.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community.

The revelation also prompted cries of hypocrisy. He also did not confirm whether the information Trump divulged was in fact classified.

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly considering expanding the electronics ban to flights from Europe to the United States.

-Associated Press reporter Paisley Dodds in London.