Congress shaken by report that Trump shared classified information

Congress shaken by report that Trump shared classified information

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (file photo)

WASHINGTON- Monday’s Washington Post story claiming President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with high-ranking Russian officials has raised concern from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“Even if President Trump unwittingly blew a highly classified code-word source to the Russians, that would be dangerous enough. If the President outed a highly classified code-word source intentionally, that would be even more dangerous,” House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

Doug Andres, a spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) appeared reluctant to rush to judgment, but said the administration needs to offer an explanation given the weight of the allegations.

“We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation’s secrets is paramount,” Andres said. “The Speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration.”

The Post on Monday published a report based on anonymous sources contending that Trump last week during a meeting with both the Russian Foreign Minister and Russian Ambassador revealed information related to an ISIS plot to use laptop computers.

Trump in series of Tuesday morning tweets said he has the authority to share information related to terrorist plots with Russia and that in doing so he hopes Moscow will assume a greater role in combating ISIS.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters Monday evening that the story “as reported” was false and that the president did not discuss intelligence methods or sources.

The Post’s story did not allege that Trump shared intelligence methods or sources.

The Ranking Democrats on both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees expressed grave concern over the allegations.

 

The committees are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election as well as allegations of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and high-ranking Russian officials.

Several Senate Republicans also weighed in.

Senators John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) told reporters Monday evening that they were deeply concerned that classified information may have been shared with Russia, but both stressed that they could not attest to the accuracy of the Post’s claims.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations committee, suggested that the Trump Administration is in disarray.

“Obviously they’re in a downward spiral right now and they’ve got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening,”  Corker told reporters Monday evening.

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