Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman denied Tuesday that President Donald Trump revealed classified information during an Oval Office meeting, but Trump suggested that intelligence details were shared for “humanitarian reasons.”
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, posted a comment on Facebook that described the reports of Trump’s disclosures as “yet another fake.” But such a denial from Moscow was expected as a way to potentially deflect demands for further details.
Shortly after the Russian statement, however, Trump posted tweets saying that “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” where shared during the White House meeting on May 10, which included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
Trump further claimed in the tweets that he has “absolute right” to share the information, which were described to The Washington Post as the highly classified and intended to remain only within a tight circle of allies.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. 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 & terrorism.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Andrew Roth