The day after he fired the FBI director, Donald Trump reportedly gave top Russian officials visiting the White House classified information from an ally involved in the fight against ISIS. Trump did not have permission to share this intelligence, and his actions could endanger the fight against terrorism.
Donald Trump appears to have jeopardized the national security of America and its allies by revealing highly classified information to Russian officials, according to a devastating report from the Washington Post.
The meeting occurred in the Oval Office the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was aggressively leading the bureau's investigation of ties between the Russian government, Donald Trump, and his political machine.
The disclosure "jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State," according to current and former U.S. officials.
An official told the the Post that Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
The information Trump gave to top Russian officials came from a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. That partner had not been given permission to share the data with Russia's hostile, anti-Western government, led by autocrat Vladimir Putin.
Officials told the Post that Trump's loose lips could endanger a relationship with an ally who has "access to the inner workings of the Islamic State."
The United States has taken the global lead in fighting the vast terrorist network, and Trump's actions could put the lives of thousands in danger while upending the work begun under President Barack Obama.
An official told the outlet, “If that partner learned we’d given this to Russia without their knowledge or asking first that is a blow to that relationship.”
Trump has already managed, in his brief time as president, to alienate and offend some of our closest allies, including Germany, Canada, Australia. Sharing an ally's information with Russia will certainly not improve relations with America's friends around the globe.
The American press was shut out of the meeting between Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Photos of the meeting were later released by Russia's state-run news agencies, which avoid mention of Putin's anti-democratic behavior in his own country.
A former senior U.S. official issued a chilling summation of Trump's latest action to the Post:
Trump seems to be very reckless, and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.
The official White House readout of the meeting concludes, "The President further emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia."
That may be an honest claim, but citizens in the United States and our allies may be the victims of this relationship.