President Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials during a meeting last week at the White House, two US officials confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
The meeting included Russia’s ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The disclosures were first reported by the Washington Post, which cited current and former US officials who said the information was considered so sensitive that some details had been withheld from American allies and was restricted within the US government.
Two US officials who were briefed on Trump’s disclosures last week confirmed to BuzzFeed News the veracity of the Washington Post report, with one noting that “it’s far worse than what has already been reported.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee was also briefed on Trump’s disclosures, one of the officials said. Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was not briefed, according to his office. Other members of the committee also said they did not receive a briefing.
A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the record when reached by BuzzFeed News. The official referred requests for comment to the National Security Council, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The classified information Trump shared included intelligence on ISIS that had been passed to the US by a partner, which was not identified. But Trump’s disclosure was considered a potential blow to the intelligence-sharing arrangement, and White House officials reportedly moved quickly to contain the fallout.
After news of Trump’s revelations broke Monday, Sen. Bob Corker — a Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations committee — said “obviously they’re in a downward spiral right now and they’ve got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening.”
“And the shame of it is, there’s a really good national security team in place…but the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think makes — it creates a worrisome environment,” Corker told reporters in Washington, DC.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, told reporters on Capitol Hill that if the story is true, “it’s another brick in the wall of a really, really troubling connection between Trump and the Russian government.”
“I don’t know when it will be enough for Republicans to understand that we need to get to the bottom of the connection between the president of the United States and the Russian government,” said Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday afternoon that if the reports about Trump revealing information were true “it’d be troubling.” Warner called the revelations “a slap in the face to the intel community.”
The meeting between Trump, Lavrov, and Kislyak happened the day after the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who had been running an investigation into Russian interference with the US election, as well as potential ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Initially, the stated reason for Comey’s firing was his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. However, in an interview with Lester Holt, Trump later said he was thinking of the Russia investigation when he fired Comey.