Contradictions by Trump create credibility gap for aides

Posted May 18, 2017

The top secret information Donald Trump reportedly gave to Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office last week pertained to an Islamic State bomb-making plot, it has emerged.

Trump went on to tweet that, as president, he had the "absolute right" to declassify and share any such information related to terrorism with Russian Federation.

Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, told reporters he was not anxious that intelligence sharing among allies would stop, the Times reported.

"In the context of that discussion, what the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he is engaged". "Trump's White House operation", as well as one of the politicians who would like to see a Democrat as Comey's replacement.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he has "the absolute right" to share certain information with Russian Federation.

"This is the last place in the world I wanted to be", he said, nervously, as he was pushed for information.

USA media outlets are reporting that the information Mr Trump passed on to the Russians originally came from Israeli intelligence - that ISIS was developing a way to get bombs on planes using laptops.

Trump's Tuesday-morning explanation of why he loosened his lips in last week's meeting with Russia's ambassador and foreign minister: for "humanitarian reasons", tweeted the President - to encourage Russian Federation "to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism".

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"We've said all we're going to say", she said, asking reporters to clear the hallway.

That message was echoed by Yves Trotignon, a former counter-terrorism analyst for France's DGSE intelligence agency, now with risk consultant Riskeco, who said Trump violated a basic tenet of intelligence sharing. "I have people brief me on great intel every day".

Rep. Adam Schiff of California called the story “deeply disturbing” and said if its true, the disclosure could jeopardize sources of very sensitive intelligence and relationships with key allies. Wisconsin, both agree the White House needs to reveal more information about any possible Russian ties.

"There need to be serious changes at the White House, immediately", he said, according to a story on the newspaper's website. But officials refused to answer specific questions, including what precisely the report had gotten wrong, ensuring it would dominate a week that White House officials hoped would be quiet in advance of the president's first foreign trip.

The New York Times reported later that Israel was the source that shared with U.S. spy agencies the sensitive intelligence materials.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump", Dermer said. He has without question dealt another blow to USA credibility and made other nations justifiably wary of sharing what they know.

"So, two questions. First, in this meeting with the Russians at the White House, why was the president's first inclination to want to share sensitive information rather than, for instance, to press them on meddling in the USA election, which we saw all these intelligence officials agree just last week was something that Russia certainly did?" a reporter asked. However, officials anxious he had given the Russians enough details to be able to identify the source themselves. While Trump has dismissed such allegations as "fake news" and National Security Adviser HR McMaster said the reporting was "false", the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee joined Democrats in slamming Donald Trump. European allies have also privately expressed concern.