Report: President Trump revealed classified information to Russia
By NBC News
Photo by NBC News.
BY ANDREW RAFFERTY and KEN DILANIAN, NBC News
(NBC News) - President Donald Trump revealed highly classified intelligence information to Russian officials during a meeting at the White House last week, the Washington Post reported Monday. The report was later confirmed by The New York Times.
The intelligence information came from a country that was a partner with the U.S. on anti-terrorist efforts, and it had not been shared with allies because of how sensitive it is, the papers reported. Trump's decision to share the intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak threatens to harm cooperation between the U.S. and the partner country, officials told the Post, and may provide Moscow with enough background to identify the source.
White House officials said the story is inaccurate.
"During President Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. "During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations."
Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell flatly called the story "false."
"The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced," Powell told reporters gathered at the White House. Powell attended the meeting.
The report is the latest in a series documenting problematic connections between Trump and Russia. Last week he abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, later telling NBC News' Lester Holt the Russia probe factored into his decision.
The Post reported that Trump revealed details about an ISIS threat involving a plot to use electronic devices to smuggle explosives onto planes.
A former intelligence official told NBC News the discussion could have serious consequences in U.S. efforts to thwart the Islamic State. A key espionage partner may stop sharing information with the U.S., allies could become even more hesitant to share intelligence, and government officials may stop sharing information with the president for fear he won't protect it, the former official said.
"The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order. It's got to happen," Republican Sen. Bob Corker told reporters. "Obviously they're in a downward spiral right now and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips w all that's happening."
Democrats were quick to jump on the report as the latest misstep from the president.
This is dangerous and reckless. GOP must put country before party and demand an independent investigation and special prosecutor now. https://t.co/MskFZ0ZP9k