GOP senator: Senate panel needs briefing on whether Trump shared info

GOP senator: Senate panel needs briefing on whether Trump shared info
© Victoria Sarno Jordan
Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) says the White House needs to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee over allegations that President Trump shared classified information with top Russian officials.
“Although the President has the legal authority to disclose classified information, it would be very troubling if he did share such sensitive reporting with the Russians. The Senate Intelligence Committee should be briefed on this important issue immediately,” Collins, a member of the Intel panel, said in a statement Tuesday.

Noting there were “conflicting reports” on what Trump shared, Collins added that “the disclosure of highly classified information has the potential to jeopardize sources and to discourage our allies from sharing future information vital to our security.”

The Washington Post reported Monday night that Trump had shared “code-word information” — the highest classification available — with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office during a meeting last week.
The report, which appeared to catch many GOP senators off guard Monday night, earned quick pushback from the White House.

National security advisor H.R. McMaster told reporters at the White House that “the story that came out tonight, as reported, is false.”

But McMaster’s denial — that Trump did not explicitly discuss the sources and methods behind the intelligence — did not directly address or nullify the Post’s reporting.

Trump also appeared to defend sharing information with the two Russian officials on Twitter Tuesday morning, saying he has an “absolute right” to share facts.

 

According to the Post, Trump revealed information related to threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that had been provided by a U.S. ally in the region.

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