The White House, which is in a perpetual state of damage control, went into overdrive on Monday night after the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump shared “highly classified information” with two Russian officials about the Islamic State that could put US intelligence sources at risk. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster held a press conference in front of the West Wing saying the report was false.
“There’s nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false,” he said. “At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”
“This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced,” Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell reiterated in a statement.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also released a statement saying, “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.”
But hours later, Trump himself admitted to sharing intelligence, contradicting the statements released by senior White House officials:
Though they wanted to burn Hillary Clinton on a stake over those damn emails, Republicans have already started making excuses for Trump. Programs like Fox and Friends are focusing on the leakers within the White House, National Security Council spokesperson Mike Anton is denying that Trump’s tweets are an admission that Trump shared classified intel, and Sen. John McCain told the Associated Press, “We certainly don’t want any president to leak classified information, but the president does have the right to do that.”
While Republicans continue their bickering, American allies around the world are growing increasingly concerned. One senior German lawmaker told the Associated Press that if Trump “passes this information to other governments at will, then Trump becomes a security risk for the entire western world.”