"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert admitted that he and President Donald Trump finally agreed on one thing: The office of the president shouldn't be held by someone who doesn't understand the words "classified" and "confidential" (video below).
During his opening monologue on the day news broke about Trump revealing classified information to Russian officials during a White House meeting, Colbert addressed the controversy on several different levels. As The Washington Post reported, Trump reportedly bragged to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about getting “great intel.”
“Well, yeah, you're the president,” Colbert said of the comment. “It's the job. It's like the guy working the fry station saying, 'You would not believe the Tater Tots I have access to,' if in this metaphor Tater Tots were a top-secret snack provided by our allies.”
Colbert then played a clip of a “top Republican” making comments on confidential information during the 2016 campaign.
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“We can't have someone in the Oval Office who doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'confidential' or 'classified,’” the GOP politician said. It was then revealed that the clip was actually Trump.
“I gotta say -- and I don't care if this is taken out of context,” Colbert said in response to the clip. “I completely agree with Donald Trump.”
The Washington Post broke the news of Trump’s conversation with Lavrov, and noted that senior White House staff immediately informed the CIA and the NSA following the meeting.
“This is code-word information,” an official familiar with the incident told the publication. Trump, the source said, “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
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National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who was in the meeting with Lavrov, denied that any confidential information was shared.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” he said. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
“It is all kind of shocking,” a former senior U.S. official close to the Trump administration said. “Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn't grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”
After news of the meeting circulated, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would be willing to provide a transcript of the meeting.
“If the U.S. administration considers it possible, we are ready to submit a transcript of Lavrov’s talk with Trump to the U.S. Senate and Congress, if, of course, the U.S. administration would want this,” he said, according to Russia’s Tass News Agency, USA Today reported.