Although the White House has pushed back against reports that President Donald Trump disclosed some sensitive information on May 10th to Russia, they definitely did not deny it.
President Trump is now himself having a say in the matter. He said that as the President, he has “an absolutely right” to disclose important information the way he did.
The conversation in question was about “facts pertaining to terrorism.”
Countries are constantly giving each other tips to keep their allies, and sometimes even enemies, safe from terrorist attacks. Russia was recently the victim of a tragic subway bombing that injured many and cost just as many their lives.
President Trump wanted “Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism.” Even Russia is saying that this story is being blown out of proportion, with their foreign ministry spokesman saying that it is “yet another fake.”
The reason that this information is so sensitive was that it put one of the CIA’s sources in the Islamic State at risk, but they are currently working with the National Security Agency to minimize any damage.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser. “At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.” The revelations could further damage Trump’s already fraught relationship with U.S. intelligence agencies. He’s openly questioned the competency of intelligence officials and challenged their high-confidence assessment that Russia meddled in last year’s presidential election to help him win. His criticism has been followed by a steady stream of leaks to the media that have been damaging to Trump and exposed an FBI investigation into his associates’ possible ties to Russia.
The disclosure also risks harming his credibility with U.S. partners around the world ahead of his first overseas trip. The White House was already reeling from its botched handling of Trump’s decision last week to fire James Comey, the FBI director who was overseeing the Russia investigation.
A European security official said sharing sensitive information could dampen the trust between the United States and its intelligence sharing partners. “It wouldn’t likely stop partners from sharing life-saving intelligence with the Americans, but it could impact the trust that has been built, particularly if sharing such information exposes specific intelligence gathering methods,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about such intelligence sharing.