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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

In tweets, Donald Trump defends sharing information with Russian officials

Two US officials on Monday alleged that the president had disclosed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation during their meeting last week.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 16, 2017 6:31:04 pm
Donald Trump, Trump, US President Donald Trump, Trump Russia, Trump leaks information to Russia, US Russia, Kremlin, ISIS, US news, Indian Express, World news US President Donald Trump. (Source: AP)

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his move to share information with Russia, saying he shared “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” with Russian officials at a publicly known meeting at the White House last week. “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled WH meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” Trump said on Twitter.

Two US officials on Monday alleged that the president, in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak last week, had disclosed highly classified information about a planned Islamic State operation. Both officials said the intelligence shared at the meeting was supplied by a US ally in the fight against the militant group.

The White House denied the allegations, “The story that came out tonight as reported is false,” HR McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, told reporters at the White House, adding that the two men reviewed a range of common threats including to civil aviation. “At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. The president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. … I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” McMaster said.

The Kremlin on Tuesday denied this as well, describing it as “complete nonsense”. “It’s not a subject for us, it’s the latest piece of nonsense. We don’t want to have anything do to with this nonsense. It’s complete nonsense, not a subject to be denied or confirmed,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters.

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