Less than a week after Donald Trump met with a Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office, the Washington Post is reporting that the president shared “highly classified,” “code word” level intelligence about ISIS during the meeting that could have compromised an important source, an ally.
The disclosure during the meet-up — which took place during a tumultuous week where former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she’d warned the White House that former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn had been compromised by Russian sources and Trump fired FBI Director James Comey — prompted White House officials to contact the CIA and the NSA to do damage control.
The FBI and a number of congressional committees are looking into potential collusion between members of Trump’s inner circle and Russian operatives.
“The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order,” the New York Times cited Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., as saying. “It’s got to happen.”
“Obviously they’re in a downward spiral right now and they’ve got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that is happening.”
But White House officials pushed back. “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” the Times quoted National Security Adviser H. R. McMasters, who attended the meeting, as saying. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
In a series of early morning tweets Tuesday, though, Trump seemed to run contradict his defenders. “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 tweeted.