McMaster: The Real Problem Isn't What Trump Said
It's the leak, says the national security adviser
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 12:30 PM CDT
National Security Adviser HR McMaster speaks during a briefing at the White House Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – National Security Adviser HR McMaster stepped up his defense of President Trump Tuesday and sought to change the narrative of the classified-info flap: The problem isn't what Trump said, he argued, it's the leak. In a White House briefing, McMaster said that what Trump told visiting Russian diplomats about an Islamic State plot was "wholly appropriate," reports the Hill. He would not address whether what Trump spoke about was classified at the time, notes CBS News, but he said the president "wasn't even aware of where this information came from" because "he wasn't briefed on the source."

And he reiterated: "The president in no way undermined sources or methods in the course of this conversation." While playing down any damage Trump might have done, McMaster said the real threat to national security was in the leak of details about the Oval Office meeting to the press. "I think the real issue, and what I would like to see debated more, is that our national security has been put at risk by those violating confidentiality," he said. (Trump himself said he had the "absolute right" to share the information.)

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