Trump intel sharing likely to leave allies anxious

Analysis: Trump intel sharing likely to leave allies anxious

Trump is set to travel to Israel next week on his first foreign trip overseas.

The move was met with condemnation from Democrats, and some Republicans, on Capitol Hill, who said the revelation could jeopardize intelligence sources on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and make allies more reluctant to share intelligence with the U.S.

But in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump later admitted that he had made the decision to fire Comey well before Rosenstein's memo, in part because he was frustrated by the director's investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and the Russian government.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Trump described his talks with the Russians as "an openly scheduled" meeting at the White House.

"The story that came out tonight as reported is false", National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told a press briefing Monday night on the White House grounds.

As President I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining.

The Post quoted an anonymous senior USA official as calling the intelligence "code-word information" - referring to one of the highest classification levels used in the American intelligence community.

Revelations that Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week prompted one European official to tell The Associated Press that his country might stop sharing intelligence with the U.S.as a result.

Trump's comments appeared to acknowledge reports Monday that he disclosed highly classified intelligence information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during an Oval Office meeting last week - contradicting carefully worded denials issued by his own White House. The classified information had been shared with the president by an ally, violating the confidentiality of an intelligence-sharing agreement with that country, the official said.

The official said that Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence in last week's meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak. An excerpt from an official transcript of the meeting reveals that Trump told them, "I get great intel".

"I'm concerned about the fact that the President feels like he has to give something to Russian Federation first when there have been repeated instances of Russian Federation being sanctioned in Ukraine, committing war crimes in Syria and conducting operations that are contrary to what we'd like to believe are freedom of operations and sovereignties of different nations", he said Tuesday on CNN's "New Day".

Afterward, White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency, the newspaper said.

"The president wasn't even aware of where this information came from".

Trump isn't denying anything, as McMaster and Powell were; instead, he's pointing out that he was within his legal rights to share such information with Russian Federation. "And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known".

The Kremlin has dismissed the reports as "complete nonsense".

Other Republicans, however, expressed concern.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that if the story is true it would be "deeply disturbing".

Senator Dianne Feinstein accidently leaked classified sensitive information on drone strikes in 2009 during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

"I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so that we can focus on our agenda", he told Bloomberg Business.

But it was an attempt at saying the story was false, and Trump isn't following that line.

The irony seemed to be lost on Trump that - at least in the case of sharing classified intelligence with the Russians - he was, in fact, the original leaker.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also released a statement saying, "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".

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