President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about intelligence gathered on ISIS in a meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
The intelligence was reportedly given to the U.S. by an ally who did not give the government permission to share it with other allies, let alone the Russian government.
The information appears to stem from an ISIS plot on commercial aviation originating in a town controlled by the terrorist group.
The specifics of the information have been withheld by the Post, as it could compromise ongoing operations, but the material Trump revealed could reportedly endanger missions against ISIL, and a valuable operative who has in-depth knowledge of the terrorist organize.
Other news outlets, including The New York Times and BuzzFeed, confirmed the Post report.
“The president revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies,” according to an official speaking with The Post.
“The President’s revelations are far worse than what has already been reported,” another told BuzzFeed.
The White House pushed back against the story.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already publicly known.”
He said that he was in the room for the meeting.
Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office on Wednesday, the day after Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey triggered a furor. The FBI is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, accused of having a role in hacking incidents in an effort to influence the 2016 elections.
During an interview with Lester Holt soon after Comey’s firing, Trump admitted that he had been thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided to fire Comey.
The story immediately generated reactions across social media, comparing it to Trump’s criticism of his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, who was investigated for her handling of classified information while secretary of state. Comey criticized her use of a private email server, but no charges were brought against her.
After McMaster’s statement, which he delivered without taking questions, a number of reporters pointed out that he denied something that was not asserted in the Post’s story.
Instead of reporting that Trump revealed the source of information, the Post reported that Trump:
“Described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances.”
The Post also reported that Trump:
“Revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.”