President Donald Trump reportedly leaked ‘highly classified’ information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, who both visited the White House on May 10. Trump reportedly spilled intel that’s so secret, the US hasn’t even shared it with its top allies. So, what’s next?
Current and former US officials told The Washington Post that President Donald Trump, 70, may have jeopardized a relationship with a major US partner who’s helping the country combat ISIS. Trump boasted about intel he’d received from partners when he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, in the Oval Office on May 10. Per usual, and to officials’ horror, Trump reportedly went off script and described an ISIS terrorist threat about using laptops on planes.
The information that Trump gave them is considered so classified that the details have been withheld from the US’s closest allies. Even within the government, the information is too sensitive for everyone to receive. Now, he’s given intel to members of the government he’s accused of colluding with during the presidential election. The partner reportedly didn’t give the United States permission to share the material, especially with Russia, and now Trump has risked cooperation with an invaluable ally, The Washington Post reports.
“I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” Trump allegedly said during his meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, according to a White House official. When Trump allegedly began revealing details, White House officials moved to stop the damage by alerting the CIA and NSA. For all those believing that this is what will start the impeachment process, it’s not that easy. If anyone else in the administration had done this, it would be illegal. But as president, Trump has the authority to declassify secrets. Even if he released significant, critical information, it’s likely that he didn’t actually break the law.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who was at the meeting.“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
Okay. Great. But here’s the thing. Trump, according to officials, only discussed details that had been gathered from the key partner. Though he didn’t say how the intelligence was gathered, he allegedly told the Russians what type of plot ISIS was pursuing, and how disastrous it would be. Additionally, officials were horrified when Trump allegedly revealed the city in ISIS territory where the partner discovered the threat.
While Russia and the United States both want to combat ISIS, the two countries’ agendas in Syria are different: Russia has supplied military gear and support to President Bashar al-Assad. “Russia could identify our sources or techniques,” a senior U.S. official said. Another (former) intelligence official, who handled high-level intel on Russia, said “I don’t think it would be that hard [for Russian spies] to figure it out.”
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by this new development in the Trump presidency?