McMaster: Trump didn't give Russian Federation highly classified info


The Russian President added that he was "concerned because it's hard to imagine what the people who produce such nonsense can come up with next".

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of ME criticized President Trump on Tuesday for sharing classified intelligence information with Russian officials who were visiting the White House last week.

But Defense Secretary James Mattis said that United States allies had not expressed concerns to him about the possibility that sensitive intelligence may have been compromised, noting that he spoke to two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies on Tuesday and "it never came up". He used the words "wholly appropriate" nine separate times. "I have people brief me on great intel every day", just before revealing the intelligence. Yet U.S. allies and some members of Congress expressed concern bordering on alarm.

Stewart is Utah's lone member of the House Intelligence Committee that is probing ties between Russian Federation and Trump associates after the country's meddling in the US presidential election past year.

Coming days before Trump's first trip overseas, it also raised questions about his standing with world leaders and led some countries to start second-guessing their own intelligence-sharing agreements with the U.S.

But other nations appeared to be reconsidering. The information had been shared with the United States by an intelligence partner and pertained to an Islamic State plot, according to reports. Such sharing "could be a risk for our sources", the official said.

For its part, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who has also denied allegations that Russia interfered in last year's presidential election, denounced the latest Post story as "fake".

The committee has yet to receive a response from the White House.

"At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that weren't already publicly known", McMaster told reporters Monday, according to CNN.

It is not clear if Mr Trump was acknowledging having shared intelligence secrets with the Russian officials, thus contradicting White House statements, or whether he was simply trying to explain what had been discussed.

Collins - who did not endorse Trump during his presidential campaign - said the foreign policy goals of Russian Federation and the US are not aligned and often at odds, making any security breach a potential threat to American interests.

Meanwhile, Republicans at home feel frustrated by the onslaught of news stories that give the appearance the White House is out of control. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the reports "deeply disturbing" and said they could affect the willingness of US allies and partners to share intelligence with the U.S. "The President only discussed the common threats that both countries faced", said Dina Powell, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, who also attended the meeting. Following his tweets, the Post said Trump acknowledges that "facts" were shared with Russian envoys.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, said it's disturbing that Trump discussed any intelligence with officials from Russian Federation, a country under investigation by US authorities over allegations it interfered with last year's presidential election by hacking Democratic political organizations.

A second committee source says this was previously scheduled.

A third damaging report Tuesday that Trump asked Comey to drop the FBI's investigation into fired Flynn only fueled the impression of a White House in crisis.