President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats during a meeting last week at the White House, current and former U.S. Officials told the Washington Post. The sources told the Post Trump disclosed information to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador about the Islamic State, jeopardizing a critical source of intelligence on ISIS.
Trump revealed “code-word information” and “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our allies,” the source told the Post.
According to the Post, Trump revealed the information during the meeting while appearing to boast about his insider knowledge of a threat to the Western world from ISIS involving the potential use of laptops to conceal explosives on airplanes. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel everyday,” Trump told the Russian ambassador, according to the Post. Trump then revealed aspects of the threat that the U.S. has learned through espionage capabilities of a key partner. As president, Trump is allowed to declassify information, the Post reports.
“It is all kind of shocking,” a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials told the Post. “Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hit back against the report at 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.”
Trump, while on the campaign trail and since taking office in January, has tweeted several times about the dangers of mishandling classified information, including saying last year that Hillary Clinton was “not fit” to be president because of he claimed she was not careful with classified information while she was secretary of state.
Here are some of Trump’s past tweets about handling classified information:
His tweets about classified information date back to before he was running for office, often focusing on Edward Snowden and President Obama: