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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

I HAVE 'ABSOLUTE RIGHT' TO SHARE INTELLIGENCE WITH RUSSIA – TRUMP




US President Donald Trump acknowledged Tuesday that he shared intelligence information with top Russian envoys at an Oval Office meeting last week.


His early morning tweet appeared to fly in the face of repeated White House denials of a Washington Post report on Monday.

The newspaper reported that Trump revealed highly classified information about the Islamic State terrorist group during his talks with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the US on May 10, citing current and former administration officials.

Trump called it his "absolute right" to provide the Russians with facts that could help in the fight against terrorism.

"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.

Late Monday, the White House released several statements that blasted the story as "false." The Russian Foreign Ministry called the story "fake."

According to the Post, Trump discussed details with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergei Kislyak of a suspected plot by Islamic State involving laptop computers to target aircraft.

The newspaper alleged that by sharing the information with a US adversary, Trump had jeopardized a key intelligence source in the US-led fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Trump's revelations to the Russians included the city within Islamic State-held territory where the unnamed US partner had gleaned the threat information. The Post said it was withholding the city and other details of the plot on the advice of US officials.

The partner that provided the now-exposed information in an intelligence-sharing arrangement had not agreed to the United States passing the information to Russia, it said. (DPA)
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