One official said the information was as classified as it gets.
Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to two Russian officials who visited the White House last week, former and current government employees told the Washington Post. The snafu involving the Russian foreign minister and ambassador came one day after the president fired the FBI director who was leading the investigation into whether Trump’s administration colluded with the Kremlin.
The information Trump apparently shared with the Russians was related to the recent laptop ban on trans-Atlantic flights that the Department of Homeland Security floated last week. The US received the intel from one of its allies who had access to the inner-workings of the Islamic State, and did not give permission for that intel to be shared with Russia.
“I get great intel,” Trump reportedly bragged. “I have people brief me on great intel every day.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held talks on a range of bilateral issues at the White House with US President Donald Trump.
The main two topics on Tuesday’s agenda were Trump’s decision to send weapons to Syrian Kurdish forces of YPG and Turkey’s request for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim leader.
Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania since 1999, is accused by the Turkish government of having planned the failed military coup attempt in 2016.
The US announced on May 10 that it would supply weapons and military equipment to YPG units of the SDF alliance battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria, despite strong opposition from Turkey, a NATO ally.
The Kurdish elements of the SDF, which is backed by the US-led coalition, are from the YPG, or the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main faction battling ISIL, also known as ISIS.
“We will support Turkey in the fight against ISIS and the PKK and we will ensure that they have no safe quarter in the region,” Trump said at Tuesday’s joint news conference with Erdogan.
For his part, Erdogan said: “Taking the YPG and [its political wing] PYD into consideration in the region will never be accepted and will go against a global agreement that we have reached.
“We should never allow those groups to manipulate the religious and ethnic structure of the region making terrorism as a pretext or excuse.”
TWELVE HOURS AFTER his national security adviser called a Washington Post report that he had shared highly classified information with Russia “false,” President Donald Trump chose not to do so, arguing instead that his office gives him “the absolute right” to share “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” with even an adversary.
In two unusually restrained and carefully worded tweets posted Tuesday morning, Trump seemed to admit that he had, as The Post reported, described “details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft,” in his Oval Office meeting last week with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak.
Senior White House officials were apparently so alarmed by President Trump’s disclosures of classified intelligence to Russia that they called the CIA and National Security Agency afterward to warn them of what had happened. Officials said they were concerned Trump’s comments would jeopardize a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. We speak to Columbia Law School lecturer Scott Horton and Stanford professor Larry Diamond of the Hoover Institute. Diamond served as senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.Democracy Now
Donald Trump has admitted that he shared information on terrorism with Russia, asserting he has an “absolute right” to do so.
The US president was responding to reports in the Washington Post and elsewhere alleging that he had revealed “highly classified” details about a threat from Isis during a meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.
“As president, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled WH meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” Trump wrote. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against Isis and terrorism.”