National Security

Report: Trump revealed highly classified info to Russians

Donald Trump, Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador
Russian Embassy

President Trump revealed highly classified intelligence information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador while meeting with them last week at the White House, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Current and former U.S. officials told the Post that Trump relayed information from a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The information was provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. The partner did not give the United States permission to share the information with Russia.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the meeting said Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”


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

Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office, the same week he fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in last year’s presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

“I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president was quoted as saying, before elaborating with highly classified details.

Following the meeting, the White House contacted the CIA and National Security Agency to contain the damage, according to the Post. 

Two U.S. officials confirmed the surprise disclosure to BuzzFeed News, which said the Senate Intelligence Committee was briefed following Trump’s discussion with the Russians. 

“It’s far worse than what has already been reported,” one source told BuzzFeed.

The meeting with Lavrov was his highest-level in-person engagement with the Russian government since he was inaugurated. Kislyak, meanwhile, was involved in several early controversies with the Trump White House. He had multiple phone conversations with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn that are now the subject of investigation.

U.S. reporters were not permitted to cover the meeting, where Trump allegedly described details about an ISIS threat using laptop computers on planes. 

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Trump and the Russians merely “reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” and that “at no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already already known publically.”

The CIA declined to comment to the Post while the NSA did not respond.

Following the revelation that Trump disclosed classified information to the Russians, several lawmakers posted on Twitter a July 2016 speech from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), in which he said that individuals who are “extremely careless” with classified information should be denied further access to it, a reference to then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Tags Hillary Clinton Paul Ryan

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