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The Journal Gazette

  • President Donald Trump awaits the arrival of Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House in Washington, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster speaks to the media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • The White House is lit in blue to honor police officers killed in the line of duty on Monday, May 15, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:30 am

German lawmaker questions Trump as security risk

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON – The Latest on the report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with Russian officials (all times EDT):

8:25 a.m.

A senior German lawmaker has expressed concern about reports that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about the Islamic State group to Russian officials.

Burkhard Lischka said in a statement to The Associated Press that "if it proves to be true that the American president passed on internal intelligence matters that would be highly worrying."

Lischka, who sits on the German parliament's intelligence oversight committee, noted that Trump has access to "exclusive and highly sensitive information including in the area of combating terrorism."

The Social Democratic Party lawmaker said that if the U.S. president "passes this information to other governments at will, then Trump becomes a security risk for the entire western world."

Germany is heavily dependent on U.S. intelligence.

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8:25 a.m.

The Kremlin has dismissed reports that Donald Trump shared classified information with Russian officials last week as "complete nonsense."

The Washington Post's report on Monday claimed that the revelation made by Trump during his meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday dismissed the reports as "yet more nonsense" and said that Moscow doesn't "want to have to do anything with it," adding that "there is nothing to confirm or deny."

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7:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is using Twitter to defend his sharing of information with the Russians.

Trump says he wanted to share with Russia "facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety." He notes that as president, he has an "absolute right" to do this.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump divulged highly classified "code-word" information that could enable the Russians to trace the source of the intelligence.

Trump added a line in his tweet suggesting why he did it: "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."

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6:40 a.m.

Russia's foreign ministry spokesman has denied reports that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to senior officials during the Russian minister's visit to the Oval Office last week.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that the revelation put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, on Facebook on Tuesday described the reports as "yet another fake."

The reports came several days after the White House faced criticism for a possible security breach after it allowed a Russian news service photographer into the Oval Office to snap photos of Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last week.

—Associated Press reporter Paisley Dodds in London.

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4:30 a.m.

Jordan says King Abdullah II is to speak by phone Tuesday with President Donald Trump.

The Royal Court says arrangements for the call were made last week.

The conversation will take place amid a report by The Washington Post that Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials at a meeting last week, putting a source of intelligence about the Islamic State extremist group at risk.

Jordan is a key ally in the U.S.-led international military coalition against Islamic State, which controls territory in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

The Post, citing current and former U.S. officials, says Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

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3:30 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won't comment on a Washington Post report that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials, or say whether the report will affect Australia's intelligence-sharing agreement with the U.S.

Australia is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing program with the U.S., Canada, Britain and New Zealand.

Turnbull declined to comment specifically on the report, but said during an interview Tuesday with Adelaide radio station 5AA that he is confident in the Australia-U.S. alliance. Turnbull called it "the bedrock of our national security."

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee said in a statement that the report was rejected by senior U.S. officials. Brownlee said a resolution to the situation in Syria requires a concerted effort from the U.S. and Russia. Brownlee said he hopes the meeting between Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov "is a step towards that."

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3:13 a.m.

President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week, putting a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk, The Washington Post reported.

The disclosure late Monday drew strong condemnation from Democrats and a rare rebuke of Trump from some Republican lawmakers. White House officials denounced the report, saying the president did not disclose intelligence sources or methods to the Russians, though officials did not deny that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting.

H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, 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 were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known."