President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trumpâ€™s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trumpâ€™s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trumpâ€™s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and National Security Agency.
â€œThis is code-word information,â€ said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump â€œrevealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.â€
Let’s see him tweet his way out of this one.
Update: More from the article.
U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multi-page briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points, and often ignores those.
“He seems to get in the room or on the phone and just goes with it – and that has big downsides,” the second former official said. “Does he understand what’s classified and what’s not? That’s what worries me.”
It really is entirely possible he just blabbed something out loud that was in his head without understanding that it was classified.