The Washington Post is reporting that in a May 10 meeting, President Donald Trump revealed "highly classified" information to the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador. "Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians".
The newspaper cited current and former U.S. officials who said Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
The anonymous officials told the Post that the information Trump relayed during the Oval Office meeting had been provided by a USA partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement.
A national security adviser in the meeting, H.R. McMaster, said the president discussed threats to aviation from terrorist organizations. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Only Russian state-run media was allowed to cover the meeting. "And their on the record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources".
And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Mr. Trump never discussed sources, methods or military operations. "I'm leaving. I'm leaving", he said when questioned by reporters. "The President only discussed the common threats that both countries faced", in a statement provided by Spicwer.
In fact, the information Trump told the Russians was only shared with a small number of USA government officials.
Sen. James Risch, an Idaho Republican, defended Trump on the story, telling reporters: "The minute the President speaks about it to someone, he has the ability to declassify anything at any time without any process". And if he (Trump) thinks classified intelligence information is something you're supposed to brag about to Russian Federation.
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"Congress must be given a full briefing on the extent of the damage President Trump has done in compromising highly classified code-word intelligence to the Russians", the California Democrat said.
The meeting, a personal request from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who asked that they meet when he spoke with Trump, earlier this month, was supposed to remain behind closed doors without any media coverage.
One US official in the Post story said that from the information Trump gave in the Oval Office, Russia "could identify our sources or techniques".
On Monday, one of the officials said the intelligence discussed by Trump in the meeting with Lavrov was classified "Top Secret" and held in a secure "compartment" to which only a handful of intelligence officials have access.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the White House "has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and order".
Mr Corker added that the national security team is solid and doing good work, but "the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline".
JUDY WOODRUFF: Clearly, Greg Jaffe, you're not going to tell us your source on this story, but is it fair to say the White House didn't want this information revealed? One exception was Arizona Senator John McCain, who called Monday's report, "If true, deeply disturbing".