BREAKING: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman denies reports that Trump revealed classified information to senior officials.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 16, 2017
A report alleging President Trump disclosed classified information to Russian envoys has set off a firestorm among critics waiting for any misstep by the president.
A Washington Post report on Monday claimed Trump openly revealed the information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to one of the few people who was present in the Oval Office at the time.
From The Independent:
Maria Zakharova, the ministry’s spokeswoman, described the reports as “yet another” false story while attacking the US media.
“Guys, have you been reading American newspapers again?” she wrote on her Facebook page. “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.”
Judge Andrew Napolitano thought the report is the “most potentially catastrophic” yet in the face of those pushing the Trump-Russia narrative.
“The Washington Post story is either entirely false and is made up by the president’s enemies to feed the narrative and continue the effort to undermine his presidency, or this was a very serious blunder,” the Fox News senior judicial analyst said Monday.
One of the “finite number” of people in the room at the time of the meeting apparently leaked the information that is “potentially damaging to the intelligence community of one of our allies,” Napolitano said. Reported leaks such as this one are supposed to be disclosed to Congress by the intelligence community, he pointed out, which has not happened.
National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster slammed the report as false during a press appearance.
“I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” he said, according to Fox News.
The Democratic National Committee sunk their teeth into the president, saying in a statement that Russia “no longer has to spy on us to get information” because Trump will provide it for them.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer blasted the DNC’s response as “completely irresponsible” because they “have no idea what was revealed.”
He pointed to Democrats’ selective memory which ignores that Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on a level that far outweighed what Trump may or may not have revealed.
“I think these statements are completely irresponsible from the DNC. They have no idea what was revealed. They have no idea the gravity of it,” Krauthammer said on Fox News’ “Special Report” on Monday.
“It can be, perhaps it’s not, but this is pure opportunism and a reflex reaction. And particularly since their candidate for the presidency had been spilling classified information, some of the highest level, for a year and a half and the Democrats pretended it wasn’t a problem or that it should be ignored is rather unseemly,” he continued.
“I don’t think anyone is talking about illegalities,” Krauthammer said, defending the president. “The idea that he was acting as a Manchurian candidate, feeding information to his Russian opeartives and controllers, is ridiculous.”
He added the Trump being “unschooled” in this area may mean he “slipped up” but it is not likely that he did so deliberately.
“This is his first go-around with sensitive information and he might’ve slipped up. If he did, it’s not good. On the other hand, if it’s not deliberate, it’s not exactly a high crime and misdemeanor,” he said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement that Trump did not discuss “sources, methods or military operations” with the Russian envoys. The president had already come under fire after inadvertently allowing a Russian state news agency photographer to be in the Oval Office meeting while the American press was not given access.
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