Society

Sources: Trump Gave Russia Classified Information

| by Jordan Smith

An anonymous U.S. official has alleged that President Donald Trump passed classified information to Russia at a White House meeting May 10.

The Washington Post reported that Trump discussed the threat of a terrorist attack by the Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.

"This is code-word information," the official alleged, adding that it was considered to be the highest level of classification. Trump had "revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies," the official said, according to the Post.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster contradicted this account.

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"The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation," said McMaster. "At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly."

The anonymous official stated that Trump described an Islamic State plot to use laptop computers on aircraft. Other officials added that Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State-controlled territory where the threat was detected; however, he did not disclose the specific intelligence method used.

Another source reported that White House officials contacted the CIA and National Security Agency after Trump's meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak to inform them what had happened.

Critics of Trump have attacked his alleged ties to Russia following his firing of former FBI Director James Comey May 9. Trump said that one of the reasons for Comey's removal was "this Russia thing," the Post reported.

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Another official with links to members of the Trump administration reacted to the incident.

"It is all kind of shocking," the official 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."

The Post refused to reveal details about the city concerned, or details of the terrorist plot. It stated that officials had urged them not to do so.

The CIA and NSA did not comment on the story.

The latest allegations arise as investigators are examining financial records collected by the Treasury Department to for links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"It goes to the old adage of 'follow the money' -- if there was collusion between the Russians and members of the Trump campaign, was it for free or was there some exchange of moneys or payments from foreign governments?" Jimmy Gurule, a former Treasury official, explained to NPR.

Sources: Washington Post, NPR / Photo credit: The White House/Wikimedia Commons

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