FROM THIS EPISODE
Just days before departing for his first trip overseas, President Trump is embroiled in another controversy. It's about reports that he shared highly classified information with two high-ranking Russians. At a press briefing this morning, National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster told reporters, "What was shared was wholly appropriate given the premise of that conversation... and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the Pres and any leaders with whom he's engaged."
The Associated Press reports that one European country says it was anything but "routine." Josh Lederman covers foreign policy, national security and the State Department for the Associated Press.
As President Trump prepares to visit the Middle East, his credibility as a foreign policy partner may have been compromised. But at this morning's press briefing, National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster said it's not the President's remarks to Russian officials that have damaging consequence, but leaks to the press. "I think national security is at risk by this leak and leaks like it. There have been a number of instances where this occurred." But the Washington Post and others are sticking by unnamed sources who claim the President's disclosure of closely held secrets created security problems. The President has tweeted that he has the "absolute right" to say what he wants about classified information. Meantime, he hosted the President of Turkey today, has a deadline involving the Iran nuclear deal tomorrow… and he's leaving Friday for the Middle East.
Nada Bakos, Foreign Policy Research Institute (@nadabakos)
Mohamad Bazzi, New York University (@BazziNYU)
Robin Wright, US Institute of Peace / Woodrow Wilson Center (@wrightr)
Negar Mortazavi, Iranian journalist (@NegarMortazavi)
Now that the Oval Office conversation between President Trump and Russian officials is the subject of global speculation, let's hear how it is playing out in Russia. The Washington press corps is abuzz with reports that Trump shared classified information with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Is it even a story in Moscow? We ask Alec Luhn, who's based in Moscow for the Guardian.