White House officials and the Secretary of State say the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats is false.
According to the Washington Post story, which was later confirmed by Buzzfeed News and the New York Times, current and former U.S. officials said that Trump talked about classified information related to ISIS, revealing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell have all issued statements saying the report is wrong.
“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.”
Powell said in a statement, “This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.”
McMaster told the Washington Post in a statement, “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
He also addressed the report in a statement to the press outside the White House:
“There is nothing the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false,” McMaster told reporters. “The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. 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.”
McMaster continued, “Two other senior officials who were present, including the Secretary of State, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh anonymous sources. And I was in the room, it didn’t happen.”