The Washington Post published a bombshell report Monday that accused Trump of disclosing extremely sensitive information regarding the Islamic State to the Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
Former and current U.S. officials said in the article that the disclosures by Trump “jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.”
The specific information Trump is accused of willingly revealing is said to have been relayed by a partner of the U.S. through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. That partner reportedly didn’t give the White House approval to share the information with Russia.
What was disclosed is said to be “so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies” and has been described by one official as “code-word information.”
CNN reported that while Trump didn’t identify the source of the classified information to the Russians, intelligence officials say there’s major concerns that Russia could easily figure it out.
If the accusations by The Post are true, that would mean he violated his own principle and values for handling classified information.
During the 2016 presidential election, Trump aggressively and repeatedly hammered Democrat Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information while she served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama.
At virtually every campaign stop, Trump used it as an opportunity to call Clinton’s integrity and leadership abilities into question for her use of a private email server to share government information.
Watch below for a video of the many times Trump criticized Clinton’s handling of classified information on the campaign trail:
The White House has strongly debunked the report, saying that Trump and the two officials only spoke about common threats to ISIS.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster denied the report, calling it “false.”
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation,” McMaster said to reporters gathered outside of the White House on Monday evening. “At no time, at no time, were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement shortly after the report surfaced that said Trump, Lavrov and Kislyak talked about a range of topics including specific common threats, but nothing more.
“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,” Tillerson said. “During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations,” Tillerson, who was in the meeting, said in a statement provided by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.