Donald Trump has admitted that he shared information on terrorism with Russia, asserting he has an “absolute right” to do so.
The US president was responding to reports in the Washington Post and elsewhere alleging that he had revealed “highly classified” details about a threat from Isis during a meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.
The president is allowed to declassify and share classified information at any moment he chooses. Trump’s Tuesday morning tweets did not specify whether the information he shared with Russia was classified.
“As president, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled WH meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” Trump wrote. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against Isis and terrorism.”
Trump’s tweets contradicted flat denials issued by senior officials on Monday night. One of them was from the national security adviser, HR McMaster, who declared the Washington Post report to be false. On Tuesday, he offered a more calibrated response.