In 2 Tweets, Trump Defends Sharing Info With Russians
President says he gave details to Russians to help fight ISIS
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 7:23 AM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., in April.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – President Trump on Tuesday defended his decision to share information with two visiting Russian diplomats, asserting that he has the "absolute right" to do so. Trump did not address allegations that the information he shared was classified, though as president he has the power to declassify anything he wants. His two-tweet defense, when combined: "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. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."

In his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak last week, Trump reportedly spoke of an Islamic State threat to planes through the use of laptops. Stories suggest that he revealed sensitive information that had been withheld even from allies, reports the AP, a move that critics say could jeopardize a US intelligence source. By an account in the New York Times, it was only after the meeting that aides realized Trump has passed along such sensitive information, perhaps unaware of the magnitude. (The story has caused consternation on Capitol Hill.)

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