Officials dispute report Trump revealed classified information to Russians

Top Trump administration officials pushed back against a published report Monday that accused President Trump of revealing classified information about the Islamic State to Russian diplomats in a White House meeting last week. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said Mr. Trump did speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about “the nature of specific threats” from the terrorist group, “but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations.” He said the Oval Office meeting covered “a broad range of subjects,” including “common efforts and threats regarding counterterrorism.” The Washington Post, citing anonymous current and former U.S. government officials, published a report Monday afternoon saying the president disclosed highly classified information to the Russians that jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The article alleged that Mr. Trump relayed information to the Russian diplomats that had been provided by a U.S. partner, and was considered so sensitive that details had been withheld from allies and restricted within the U.S. government. The meeting last week occurred in the Oval Office with Mr. Trump, Mr. Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. It was Mr. Lavrov’s first visit to Washington in four years. White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who attended the meeting, said late Monday the story was “false.” “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,” Mr. McMaster said. He added that Mr. Trump and Mr. Lavrov “reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation.” In a hastily arranged statement on camera Monday night outside the West Wing, Mr. McMaster also told reporters that there’s nothing the president takes more seriously than the country’s safety. He said the article, “as reported, is false.” “I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” Mr. McMaster said. He took no questions from reporters. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, another participant in the meeting last week, also said the story “is false.” “The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced,” she said in a statement. Mr. McMaster said that his on-the-record account of the meeting, together with those of Mr. Tillerson and Ms. Powell, “should outweigh the accounts of anonymous sources.”


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