WASHINGTON (AP) – The Washington Post is reporting that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Russian officials during a meeting at the White House last week.
The newspaper cites current and former U.S. officials who say Trump jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on IS in his conversations with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. They say Trump offered details about an IS terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.
The newspaper says the information was very sensitive and had been provided by a U.S. partner.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says no intelligence sources or methods were discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly. The CIA is declining to comment.
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says the report is “deeply disturbing.”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California said in a statement Monday that “this disclosure could jeopardize sources of very sensitive intelligence and relationships we have with key partners.”
Schiff says it is particularly “problematic” that Russian interests, in Syria and elsewhere, are “deeply antithetical to our own.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Trump discussed “the nature of specific threats” during the meeting, “but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations.”
H.R. McMaster told reporters in a brief statement that The Washington Post report published Monday “is false” and “at no time” were intelligence sources or methods discussed during Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The Post report says Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State militants to Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, during a meeting at the White House last week.
McMaster says: “I was in the room. it didn’t happen.”
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says the Trump White House “has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and order.”
Corker said Monday of the administration, “Obviously they’re in a downward spiral right now and they’ve got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening.”
Corker says the national security team is solid and doing good work, but “the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline – it’s creating an environment that I think makes – it creates a worrisome environment.”