Your president has a big mouth and apparently couldn’t hold water if he were a rain cloud. According to a report published Monday, Donald Trump revealed highly classified information during his meeting last week at the White House with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, and his disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State group, or ISIS.
The Washington Post reports that the information Trump relayed was provided through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that “details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government.”
The United States did not have permission to share the information with Russia, and Trump’s decision to do so has endangered the cooperation of an ally who has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State, according to the Post. Senior White House officials reportedly took steps to contain the damage after Trump’s meeting by placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
“This is code-word information,” a U.S. official familiar with the matter told the Post, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
The Post’s report just adds on to the already problematic week Trump has been having in the wake of his firing of FBI Director James Comey as Comey’s agency is in the midst of investigating the president’s ties to Russia.
And if you needed further evidence that your president a) has a big mouth and b) always says the wrong thing at the wrong time, he admitted to NBC’s Lester Holt in an interview last week that he fired Comey because of “this Russia thing,” which is basically an admission of obstruction of justice.
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who has been centered in earlier controversies involving Trump and Russia, as well as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, visited the Oval Office just one day after Trump fired Comey, and officials told the Post that it was during that meeting that Trump “went off script” and described details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.
As the Post notes, had anyone else in government been discussing this subject with a known adversary of the United States, it would be considered illegal, but because he is the president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets—which means that even though he is dead wrong for doing so, he likely did not break the law by revealing these secrets to Russia.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting, said. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
Neither the CIA nor the NSA commented on the issue to the Post.
From the Post:
In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.
Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.
This man is a complete and total braggadocious idiot. Can we impeach him already?
The Post said it is “withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.”
Read more at the Washington Post.