US senators are calling on President Donald Trump to disclose what exactly was said during a meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Point of view
The President should make full unedited transcripts available immediately. No ifs, no ands, no buts.Senate minority leader
It was reported that the leader may have divulged highly classified military information regarding operations against ISIL – particularly a suspected plot to attack planes with laptop computers – during the meeting last week.
Top politicians and intelligence officials are concerned that information divulged by the President to Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak may have compromised a valuable intelligence source.
They also said the information was given to the US by an ally, who did not give consent for it to be shared with Russia.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said: “The President should make full unedited transcripts available immediately. No ifs, no ands, no buts. If the President may have put national security and our intelligence operations at risk, congress has the right to know about.”
The White House were quick to deny the allegations, although Trump tweeted that he had an “absolute right” to share information with Russia.
One of he powers of a US president is to declassify information whenever he chooses.
However, Trump’s tweets on Tuesday did not explicitly reveal whether or not the information he shared was classified.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster said: “What the President shared was wholly appropriate. The story combined what was leaked, with other information. And then insinuated about sources and methods. So I wanted to make clear to everybody that the president in no way compromised any sources or methods in the course of this conversation.”
While Democrats have been vocal in their protests, some Republicans have been critical, with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell saying congress could “do with a little less drama from the White House.”