President Donald Trump did nothing inappropriate and did not put national security at risk during a meeting in the Oval Office where he allegedly shared secret information on terrorism with senior Russian officials, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in a recent press conference.
“I was in the room, the Secretary of State was in the room, as you know, the deputy adviser for national security, Dina Powell, and none of us felt in any way that conversation was inappropriate,” McMaster was quoted as saying.
The White House’s top national security adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, reiterated at a press conference on Tuesday that, as he said on Monday, the Washington Post‘s article saying President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week was “false.”
As reported by CNN, McMaster alleges Trump’s conversation was “wholly appropriate” and “consistent” with meetings with foreign dignitaries, denying that there were “any kind of lapses in national security.”
President Donald Trump also defended his decision to share information with Russia, saying he shared facts with Russian officials at a public meeting in the White House last week. According to a report from ABC News, Trump fired back on Twitter after hearing of The Washington Post‘s story saying that he shared classified information with members of the Russian government.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” Trump wrote in a two-part tweet.
According to the report, Trump provided Russian officials with information regarding the possibility of jihadists using laptops to carry out some type of terrorist attack on commercial flights, claims that McMaster did not mention in the denial. Reportedly, the secret information that Trump shared with Russia had been provided by Israel and the country has already asked Washington to be careful with the intelligence that the president has access to.
When questioned by the press, McMaster did not answer a question about whether the information shared by Trump was secret or not.
“We do not say what is classified and what is not classified,” defended McMaster, who added that “by no means” Trump divulged sources or methods of obtaining that information in his conversation with Lavrov. In fact, McMaster said that Trump “was not even aware” of the provenance of the information he provided.
“‘I have a brief statement for the record. There is nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false,’ McMaster said. ‘The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation.'”
“At no time, at no time, where intelligent sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the Secretary of the State, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on the record accounts should outweigh anonymous sources. I was in the room. It didn’t happen.”
As noted by AOL, Trump seems to contradict McMaster’s statements when he admitted on Twitter that he shared with Russia information about ISIS terrorism and said he has the “absolute right” to do so.
As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
In addition, he alleged that he did so for “humanitarian reasons,” because he wants Russia to intensify its fight against ISIS. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer recently urged the White House to publish the transcripts of Trump’s meeting with Lavrov.
[Featured Image by Russian Foreign Ministry Photo/AP Images]