Kremlin says reports Trump disclosed intelligence are 'nonsense'

Kremlin says reports Trump disclosed intelligence are 'nonsense'

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend his reported decision to give classified intelligence information to Russian Federation, in a statement that appeared to contradict earlier denials by White House officials, who had said he had not let slip any secrets.

He tweeted that he wanted to share with Russian Federation "facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety".

But two former officials knowledgeable of the situation confirmed to CNN that the main points of the Post story are accurate: The President shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister.

The Washington Post, citing unnamed officials, had reported that Trump went off script during the meeting, describing details about an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on airplanes, revealing the city where the information was gathered.

In his tweet early today, Mr Trump said, as President he wanted to share with Russian Federation which he has the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. "It was reinforced, yet again, when President Trump and I met on the Intrepid in NY just a few days ago". However, The Post story and other subsequent reports didn't say that it was sources, methods or military operations discussed, but simply classified information.

Trump ignored reporters' questions about whether he disclosed classified information.

Greg Miller, one of The Post reporters who broke the story, told NPR's Ari Shapiro on All Things Considered that by sharing the information from another country, it could damage future intelligence gathering and USA relations with other partners. Such sharing "could be a risk for our sources", the official said. Last week, White House spokespeople stepped forward to explain the circumstances under with FBI Director James B. Comey had been fired, pointing to his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation and saying the decision originated in the Justice Department.

There is no reason to assert presidential authority to share information if it was the kind of vanilla information McMaster and Powell led us to believe. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism", Trump tweeted.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo was to brief members of the House intelligence committee late Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday morning in an interview with Bloomberg News that "we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things".

The White House has pushed back against those reports, but has not denied that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting between Trump and Russian diplomats.

The New York Times, which later picked up the story, said the ally had previously shared information with the USA only to see it leaked, and had warned U.S. officials that it may cut off access to such information if it is shared too widely.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement saying "the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations".

In a statement, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said the partnership between the U.S and Israel was solid.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova ridiculed the Post report Tuesday, writing on Facebook that American newspapers "can be used for other things but there's no need to read them - in recent times it's not only harmful but unsafe".

The Post cited unnamed current and former USA officials with knowledge of the exchange, who said they recognized that it jeopardized intelligence capabilities.

Jordan says King Abdullah II is to speak by phone Tuesday with President Donald Trump.

"The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order", Republican Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters at the Capitol. "It is the bedrock of our national security". Only a Russian Foreign Ministry photographer was allowed in to document the meeting; no USA media were allowed.

The meeting, a personal request from Russian President Vladimir Putin - who asked that they meet when he spoke with Trump earlier this month - was supposed to remain behind closed doors without any media coverage.

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