Another day, another Trump debacle concerning the president’s murky associations with Russia.
The latest: according to the Washington Post, President Donald Trump shared classified national security “code word” information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week. Code word information refers to one of the highest levels of classification that America’s spy agencies use.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak visited Trump at the White House in a prescheduled meeting last week amidst the ineptly rolled-out firing of former FBI director James Comey.
Trump was accused, among other things in the report, of revealing more classified “ information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our allies,” a U.S. official familiar with the situation told the Post. His error, which was done while trying to boast to Lavrov about the strength of U.S. intelligence, also jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State, officials said.
The beleaguered White House, which scrambled with an appropriate response to report, sent H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser to refute the report to 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,” he said. “I was in the room. It didn’t happen.”
Buzzfeed and The New York Times both confirmed the Post’s story with one source telling the Buzzfeed that “it’s far worse than what has already been reported.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement earlier Monday that Trump discussed a “broad range of subjects” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
“During President Trump’s meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism. During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations,” Tillerson, who was in the meeting, said in a statement provided by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
As for the Russians, an embassy spokesman said the “Ambassador will not comment” on the Washington Post story
We’ll see how the White House continues to respond to this blockbuster story.