Reed Statement on President Trump Sharing Highly Classified Intel with Russian Officials
WASHINGTON, DC - Following an explosive Washington Post report that cites current and former U.S. officials stating that President Trump shared “highly classified information” with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a meeting at the White House last week, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“President Trump’s recklessness with sensitive information is deeply disturbing and clearly problematic. The President of the United States has the power to share classified information with whomever they wish, but the American people expect the President to use that power wisely. I don’t believe the President intentionally meant to reveal highly secretive information to the Russians. But if the Washington Post report is accurate then the President crossed a line that could have a real negative impact on national security and harm relations with our allies. The President’s inexperience is no excuse for being irresponsible. Something must change at the White House because if this pattern continues it could jeopardize our intelligence capabilities and ability to keep the American people safe from threats around the world.”
According to the Washington Post: “The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
“The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”