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Consternation on Capitol Hill over White House bombshells

17 May 2017

"The shame of it is there's a really good national security team in place and there are good, productive things that are under way through them and through others", Corker said. "Her severe lack of judgment in this situation and her blatant disregard for the rules that protect our national security should disqualify her from higher office".

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee said in a statement that the report was rejected by senior USA officials.

"This is risky and reckless", Durbin wrote. The long-standing adversaries sometimes alert one another to security threats, but otherwise engage in little if any intelligence cooperation.

McMaster would not confirm that Bossert made the calls but suggested that if he did, he was acting "maybe from an overabundance of caution".

On Tuesday, Trump claimed the authority to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation, saying in a pair of tweets he has "an absolute right" as president to do so.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Trump did not know the source of the information he revealed to Kislyak and Lavrov, the public face of Russian foreign policies that are often at odds with US aims. The Kremlin dismissed the reports as "complete nonsense". They also said Israel asked the U.S.to be careful with the same intelligence.

Apparently confirming the report, two Israeli intelligence officers told BuzzFeed on Tuesday that Israel had indeed shared specific intel with the U.S. regarding an Islamic State plot to smuggle explosive laptops onto planes. Other officials have said that the spy agencies were contacted to help contain the damage from the leak to the Russians.

"We had a very, very successful meeting with the foreign minister of Russia", Trump said in response to questions at a White House event with President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. The U.S. president said that he hopes Russian Federation will "greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism".

A current and a former American official, who both requested to remain anonymous, told the Times that Israel had previously urged the U.S.to be careful with the intelligence that Trump shared with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said it would "be very troubling" if Trump shared sensitive information with the Russians and said the Senate Intelligence Committee "should be briefed on this important issue immediately".

The official spoke only on condition that neither he nor his country be identified, because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. "He wasn't briefed on the source and method of the information either", McMaster told reporters.

The newspaper said that Trump offered details about an IS terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft. And I was in the room. McMaster says the Post story, "as reported, is false", but he doesn't debunk any specific claim in the story.

The meeting happened the day after Mr Trump sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was in charge of investigating whether the President's campaign colluded with Russian Federation to swing the election.

The revelations drew strong condemnation from Democrats and a rare rebuke of Trump from some Republican lawmakers.

The Washington Post reported late on Monday that Trump revealed highly classified information on the Middle-East-based terrorist group Daesh during a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Moscow's man in Washington Sergey Kislyak. Although top aides on Monday had declared reports about Trump's discussions false, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Tuesday sought instead to downplay the significance of the information Trump revealed.

But when asked about concerns the president could have jeopardised U.S. intelligence relationships, McMaster responded: "I'm not concerned at all".

However, General McMaster did not deny that classified intelligence may have been passed on.