President Trump accused of sharing classified information with Russia


President Trump is accused of sharing highly classified information with Russian officials, which has garnered a high degree of criticism.
Last week, Trump met with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House.
Trump defended his actions, stating that he did not reveal his source of the information. However, intelligence officials fear that the information alone will be enough for Russian officials to piece together the identity of the source.
However, it is unclear as to the extent of information that the president revealed. In this case, the intelligence is related to a special access program (SAP), which is used to protect some of the U.S.’s most classified information using special safeguards.
The Whitehouse has responded to allegations that Mr. Trump breached security regulations by revealing too much information.
According to the president’s national security advisor H.R. McMaster, Trump did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. (It should be noted that McMaster was present for the president’s meeting with the Russian officials).
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also issued statements in defense of the president. According to Tillerson, a broad range of subjects were discussed in last week’s meeting. Indeed, common efforts and counter-terrorism efforts by the U.S. and Russia were discussed. The nature of the specific common threats was discussed, but intelligence sources and operations as well as specific military operations were not mentioned.
Trump has taken to social media to defend himself, tweeting: “As President, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled Whitehouse meeting, which I have the absolute right to do) facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I was Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism.”
More specifically, various reports have stated that Mr. Trump discussed ISIS’s plats to use laptop computers as bombs on airplanes with Lavrov and Kislyak. These specific reports have garnered some of the most criticism of the president.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova rejected the outcry in U.S. media Tuesday as a manipulation of public opinion by media outlets. Furthermore, Zakharova criticized the U.S. media’s portrayal of the meeting, calling it an attempt to wage a policy war using Russia as a tool.
The Whitehouse is further defending the president, saying reports of ISIS’s potential strategy of using laptops as bombs was publicized by CNN already in April. At that time, CNN reported that ISIS had obtained sophisticated airport security equipment in order to test methods of effectively concealing explosives.
Overall, statements from Russia and the Whitehouse as well as conflicting reports from various media sources have left an uncertainty about whether or not Trump breached U.S. national security.


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