Trump says he had ‘right’ to share information with Russia
President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday he had the right to share information with Russia related to terrorism and other issues, his first public response to the revelation he disclosed classified information at an Oval Office meeting last week.
“As President, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety, Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” he said in a series of tweets.
Trump shared highly classified information with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador to the U.S. in a White House meeting last week, The Washington Post first reported Monday.
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.
Trump did not directly reveal the source of the information, but intelligence officials told CNN that there is concern that Russia will be able to figure out the highly sensitive source.
The White House dismissed the report Monday night, issuing several statements before sending H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser who was a part of the meeting, before White House reporters.
“At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the President did not disclose any military operations that weren’t already publicly known,” McMaster said. “I was in the room. It didn’t happen.”