GOP senator: ‘Russia is not a friend to the United States’

GOP senator: ‘Russia is not a friend to the United States’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) said Tuesday that while "it is fully within the president's powers" to share highly classified intelligence with whomever he chooses, doing so would be "extremely imprudent" with an adversary such as Russia.

“Russia is not a friend to the United States, and protecting our country’s classified information from our adversaries is essential,” Toomey said in a statement the day after The Washington Post reported that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE shared classified information with top Russian officials in the Oval Office last week.

“While it is fully within the President’s powers to manage classified information and direct our country’s foreign policy, if classified information was divulged without good reason, it could not only be extremely imprudent, but also hamper our ability to gather intelligence in the future.”


Toomey added that he hopes the Trump administration “comes forward and provides a full explanation of the facts to Congress soon.”

Democrats and many Republicans have expressed shock and dismay at Trump's disclosure, with White House officials scrambling to limit the damage.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that Trump “in no way undermined sources or methods” while speaking recently with top Russian officials.

“The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from,” McMaster said at the White House.

Trump, for his part, has said he has "the absolute right" to share data with Russian diplomats or anyone else.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported that highly classified intelligence, which concerned a terror plot involving the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), came from Israel.

Israeli officials and the White House have declined to confirm or deny whether Israel was the information’s origin.

Trump’s “code-word information” disclosure risks damaging the relationship with the intelligence source, which has access to ISIS inner workings.