Israel was source for information shared with Russians

Donald Trump Sergey Lavrov
Donald Trump Sergey Lavrov

19 May, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to provide a transcript of a controversial Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, raising the stakes in an affair that has sent the White House into a tailspin.

The Post said the intelligence partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russian officials.

The intelligence Trump revealed is said to be related to an Islamic State (ISIS) threat to airline travel, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Damage assessments, part of the intelligence community's purview under the National Security Act of 1974, happen when there is an "unauthorized disclosure", compromise, or mishandling of classified information to determine if there's any "actual or potential damage" to national security as a result.

Mr Trump's move is not illegal, as the USA president has the authority to declassify information.

The question came during a press briefing ahead of Britain's June 8 election, which polls show May is on course to win, and in which national security is seen as one of her political strengths.

President Donald Trump is taking major heat for reports that allege he shared classified information with Russian officials.

Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism", Trump tweeted. The implication here is that the type of information revealed was not widely known.

The briefing comes as lawmakers have demanded reports from the White House on what exactly Trump told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the US. The Democratic party and its leadership called for appointment of a special prosecutor to probe for links between Trump, his team and the Russians.

Speaking at a news conference alongside Italy's prime minister, Putin quipped that Lavrov had not passed what he said were the non-existent secrets onto him and said that Russian Federation was ready to hand a transcript of the meeting over to US lawmakers if that would help reassure them.

According to AP, Mr Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence during the meeting with Mr Lavrov.

"That being said, I am not going to comment any further on that", Spicer added.

King told the Press Herald that Trump appeared to have "blurted out" classified information without carefully "weighing the pros and cons".

"What we really have to do is make sure we have a very high degree of confidence in all of our organizations and all of our systems and processes, so we can do what we need to do for the president, which is give him our best advice and give him options to deal with these very complex problems". "It's above top secret", King said. The White House was already reeling from its botched handling of Trump's decision last week to fire James Comey, the FBI director who was overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

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