White House insists Trump’s disclosures ‘wholly appropriate’
The Israeli news website Ynet also reported in January that Israeli intelligence officials had issued warnings to be careful when sharing information with the Trump administration, lest it end up in the hands of Russian Federation and then Iran, the Kremlin’s major ally in the Middle East.
In a statement, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said the partnership between the U.S and Israel was solid.
The admission prompted a call from senior Republican leaders to take immediate steps to end the chaos that characterised the Trump White House.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that Trump “in no way undermined sources or methods” while speaking recently with top Russian officials. “At no time, at no time, were intelligent sources or methods discussed”.
A European security official said sharing sensitive information could dampen the trust between the United States and its intelligence sharing partners.
President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday he had the right to share information with Russian Federation related to terrorism and other issues, his first public response to the revelation he disclosed classified information at an Oval Office meeting last week.
Some of the leaders Trump will meet come from countries the US has intelligence-sharing agreements with.
May, who was the first foreign leader to visit Trump after his inauguration and whose ruling party is expecting to win the United Kingdom general election next month, went on to praise Trump’s “100% commitment” to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, saying it was “an important bedrock of our security and the bedrock of the security in Europe”.
One official, who requested anonymity to discuss dealing with the president, said last month: “He has no filter; it’s in one ear and out the mouth”.
The New York Times, citing a current and a former American official, reported the newest wrinkle in a story that has consumed the Trump administration since Monday night. But when asked by a reporter on Tuesday whether Trump revealed the city in which a U.S. ally detected an ISIS plot, McMaster replied that what Trump discussed with the Russians about the Islamic State “was nothing you would not know from open-source reporting”.
The CIA is declining to comment.
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.
The revelation also prompted cries of hypocrisy.
Senator Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned that the White House was “in a downward spiral right now” and staff “have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening”.
“I have to hope that someone will counsel the president about just what it means to protect closely held information and why this is so unsafe, ultimately, to our national security”, Schiff said at a policy conference in Washington sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a liberal group.
According to AP, Mr Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence during the meeting with Mr Lavrov. The White House vowed to track down those who disclosed the information.
He defended his actions, saying it was his right as president to share information on security as he saw fit.