McMaster defends Trump on Russian Federation meeting
May 18 2017 by Joshua Bennett
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters outside the White House that the "story that came out tonight, as reported, is false".
The top secret information Donald Trump reportedly gave to Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office last week pertained to an Islamic State bomb-making plot, it has emerged.
At least one European nation has said it may stop sharing intelligence with the U.S., if it's proved Trump shared the information with Russian Federation.
Suspicion of the Russians runs so deep in the USA administration that even a hint of liaison with them is frowned upon.
During those conversations, Trump disclosed the city from which the intelligence was derived, McMaster confirmed.
Mr. McMaster said the information was conveyed to Russia's foreign minister during a discussion of the threat posed by Islamic State, and in particular the danger to commercial airliners. Tillerson, who was at the meeting, revealed that a "broad range of subjects" were brought up and "the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations".
He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, remember the meeting the same way. That typically refers to reporting that's publicly available, such as news accounts, academic reports or social media.
As the general approached microphones on the blacktop in front of the West Wing, one of his deputies responsible for coping with the fallout, Dina Powell, could be seen peering behind the reporter pack to see how her boss' statement was being received. Russian Federation has one of the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering systems in the world and could conceivably trace the information back to its source in the field. Still, it will only heighten Trumps strained relations with intelligence workers and former officials, who view Russian Federation as an adversary. "If you are a country that is supplying or supporting North Korea we will call you out on it, we will make sure that everyone knows who you are and we will target sanctions toward you as well".
The disclosure of Trump's discussion rocked the administration as it struggled to move past the backlash over Trump's abrupt firing on May 9 of FBI Director James Comey, whose agency is investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
Ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned for possibly misrepresenting conversations he had with Kislyak months before Trump took office.
Trump's disclosure of sensitive threat information to the Russians - which national security advisor H.R. McMaster defended Tuesday as "wholly appropriate" - raised fears that US allies might scale back intelligence-sharing, cutting off a vital source of spying tips, if they can not trust Trump to keep closely held secrets.
Trump has made little apparent effort to cement those ties - as illustrated most dramatically, but far from exclusively, by Comey's abrupt dismissal.
On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans alike expressed concern. Sen. "It could have a negative impact on our national security". "And I think that's one of the really big worries here", Miller told NPR.
Citing an unnamed "official", it says that Israel "has repeatedly warned American officials that it would cut off access to such sensitive information if it were shared too widely, the former official said".
The extraordinary leak of Trump's private conversations in the Oval Office appeared to be a direct effect of the president's combative relationship with the USA spy agencies. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he doesn't even tell his own staff and colleagues things he hears on the Senate intelligence committee. CIA Director Mike Pompeo briefed the House Intelligence Committee late Tuesday in a closed session that officials said was previously scheduled.