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Trump defends intelligence sharing--Russia calls it fake news



by Joseph Earnest May 16, 2017


Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.US President Donald Trump says he had an "absolute right" to share intelligence with Russia. However, Moscow-based media contradict reports that Trump revealed classified information to Kremlin emissaries at all.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that he was acting within the privilege afforded by his position when he shared intelligence with Russian officials 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 do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety," Trump wrote in Tuesday's two-part tweet, abbreviating White House. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism." Trump was using a common acronym for the Islamic State group, also commonly referred to as IS.

On Monday, intelligence sources told The Washington Post that Trump had revealed information about an operation against IS when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right in photo) visited the White House.

Earlier Tuesday, and seemingly contradictory, Russian Foreign Ministry officials had told the Moscow-based Interfax news agency that reports that Trump had revealed highly classified secrets to Kremlin officials at the White House were "fake."

And Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the ministry, left a dismissive post about the report on her Facebook page. "Guys, have you been reading the American newspapers again?" she wrote. "You shouldn't read them. You can put them to various uses, but you shouldn't read them. Lately it's become not only harmful, but dangerous, too."

In addition, an anonymous US official told the Associated Press that following the meeting the president was informed that he had violated protocol. White House officials spoke with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA to inform them that Trump had shared secretive information.

Since the fallout, some politicians in Washington have called on Trump to release transcripts of his meeting. Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, said that if the president has "nothing to hide," he'll hand unedited versions of the transcripts to the House and Senate intelligence committees.    Add Comments>> 


 Source: Deutsche Welle      









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