White House Deemed Intel Trump Shared With Russians Too Sensitive for CNN

Trump, in tweets, defends his sharing of information with Russians

Canadian politicians were well within earshot as political bombshells this week exploded all over Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell downplayed on Tuesday the startling reports that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to a pair of Russian diplomats in the Oval Office.

Chrystia Freeland and Harjit Sajjan dined with their US counterparts for foreign affairs and defence - Rex Tillerson and James Mattis.

H R McMaster said instead the focus of the debate should now be on the "leaks" to the media and how "those violating confidentiality" have put America's national security at risk.

But she hints it will be discussed further.

For Mr Trump's tired allies in Congress, the crisis brought more headaches from an administration struggling to make its legislative mark.

"You will appreciate it's a really sensitive area".

"In terms of the specifics, I can't, I can't - I have no basis for comparison on what was shared with what country", McMaster said.

Some experts added, however, that the reports could undermine trust between partners.

She made the remarks after a two-day Washington visit where she met numerous lawmakers and administration officials - one of them being the newly sworn in USA trade czar, Robert Lighthizer, who will play a role in the renegotiation of NAFTA.

"The relationship is strong and it has worked very successfully in Canada's interests".

Few others in Washington had trade on their mind this week.

And Trump waited more than two weeks to ask Gen. Michael Flynn to resign as national security adviser after Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned about Flynn's "problematic" conduct and that he "could be blackmailed by the Russians" because of it.

A spokeswoman for Republican Sen.

The disclosures late on Monday roiled the administration as it struggled to move past the backlash over Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating the president's ties to Russian Federation.

McMaster explained that Trump didn't even know where the information that he shared with Russian officials had come from, but experts say that the content of the information could help reveal its source. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets. However, he is facing a deepening trust crisis as a new poll released Tuesday finds almost half of United States voters (48 per cent) said they would support Trump's impeachment, while only 41 per cent would oppose such charges. "If the president outed a highly classified code-word source intentionally, that would be even more unsafe", Pelosi said. He echoed others' concerns it's inexcusable to risk intelligence sources and methods by revealing them to Russian Federation.

A former intelligence official told CBS News "something inappropriate" was discussed by President Trump, and that "details were discussed that should not have been discussed".

The information was provided by a partner via an intelligence-sharing arrangement deemed so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the USA government. Although not confirming that, the Israeli ambassador says they still have full confidence in the information-sharing relationship. "No compromise with national security".

Aides in the White House were "furious" after photos from the meeting were tweeted by the Russian embassy in the United States even before the White House told reporters that Kislyak, the ambassador who is well known as a Russian spy, was in the meeting.

He did not dispute the accuracy of the details - as the administration appeared to do the previous day.

Mr McMaster, in a White House briefing, said: "In the context of that discussion, what the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he is engaged". He used the words "wholly appropriate" nine separate times. Trump, in a May 2016 tweet, offered this piece of advice.

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