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H.R. McMaster Says Information Trump Shared With Russian Officials Was ‘Wholly Appropriate’

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H.R. McMaster Says Information Trump Shared With Russian Officials Was ‘Wholly Appropriate’ by Kaitlan Collins.

Gen. H.R. McMaster would not outright deny that Donald Trump revealed classified information when he met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office last week.

After the Washington Post reported that the president revealed intelligence to the Russian officials about an Islamic State terrorist threat, the national security adviser was asked point blank by a reporter Tuesday if Trump shared classified information with them.

“We don’t say what’s classified, what’s not classified,” McMaster said. “I can say again that what was shared was wholly appropriate. The president in no way compromised any sources or methods in the course of this conversation.”

Instead, McMaster argued that the information Trump shared was “wholly appropriate.”

“I stand by my statement that I made yesterday,” McMaster said during the 17-minute briefing. “The premise of that article is false. What was shared was wholly appropriate given the premise of that conversation.”

“I was in the room,” he added. “The secretary of state was in the room. The deputy assistant was in the room.”

When asked if the president revealed specific information to the Russians, McMaster said: “It was nothing you would not know from open source reporting. The president wasn’t even aware where this information came from. He wasn’t briefed on the sources and methods.”

McMaster said his real concern was not what information the president shared, but the source of the leaks.

“I think national security is put at risk by this leak, and leaks like this,” he said. “It’s important to investigate these kinds of things and make sure we have trusted organizations across our government. What is critical is that you can assemble the experts you need. We have to make sure we have a high degree of confidence in all our organizations so we can do what we need to do for the president.”

In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, the president said he had the “absolute right” to reveal “facts” to Lavrov and Kislyak for “humanitarian reasons.”

“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.”

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