Donald Trump defends giving information to Russians

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The president did not say whether he had revealed classified information about ISIL to Moscow, as published reports have said and as a United States official confirmed on Tuesday. The White House was already reeling from its botched handling of Trump's decision last week to fire James Comey, the FBI director who was overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

White House officials responded Monday by denying the report's accuracy, saying President Trump did not discuss specific threats, sources or military operations.

The disclosures late on Monday roiled the administration as it struggled to move past the backlash over Trump's abrupt firing on May 9 of FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Trump's tweets undercut his administration's frantic effort Monday night to contain the damaging report.

Trump repeatedly assailed his Democratic rival in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton, for her handling of classified information by email while she was secretary of state. FILE - In this May 8, 2017, file photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington. He says he shared information because he wants Russian Federation to "greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism". The official said the disclosure came as Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to provide a transcript of a controversial Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, raising the stakes in an affair that has sent the White House into a tailspin.

"As President I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled WH meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining", he wrote, "to terrorism and airline flight safety".

Of course, the USA has had problematic intelligence situations with the rest of the world.

In an interview Thursday with NBCs Lester Holt, Trump said that Comey told him once over dinner and twice in phone calls that he was not personally being investigated.

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"We need to learn more about it".

John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said late Tuesday that the developments had reached "Watergate size and scale". The official spoke only on condition that neither he nor his country be identified, because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

In the weeks before Trump took office, Obama administration officials were so concerned by the Trump transition team's handling of classified documents that they moved swiftly to exert more control over the sensitive materials, according to two former US officials.

The transition team was allowed to request and view classified material in secure rooms both at their government-run offices in Washington and at the White House.

Trump is preparing to leave town Friday on his first foreign trip, and aides have been hopeful the journey will be a chance for the administration to get back on track after weeks of chaos and distractions.

When Trump fired Comey, he said he did so based on Comey's very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and how it affected his leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Spicer will appear later, off-camera, to speak with White House reporters at 2 p.m. ET.

Pallone criticized Trump for "incompetence" and renewed his call for an independent investigation into potential ties between Trump associates and Russian Federation during the presidential campaign.

A Japanese government official said it was simply not possible to stop cooperating with Washington on intelligence matters. The list of Russian aggressions is long and growing.

According to the Times, Comey wrote in the February memo that Trump told him Flynn had done nothing wrong. But Ball said intelligence co-operation was too important to be constrained."Five Eyes is far too significant for anyone to wash their hands of it and Five Eyes has weathered a few storms over the years", Ball said.

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