Putin 'ready to provide recording' of Lavrov-Trump exchange

Posted May 18, 2017

"Trump's tweets tried to explain away the news, which emerged late Monday, that he had shared sensitive, "code-word" information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week, a disclosure that intelligence officials warned could jeopardise a crucial intelligence source on the Islamic State", the daily said.

"The story that came out tonight as reported is false", H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, told reporters at the White House, adding that the leaders reviewed a range of common threats including to civil aviation.

McMaster added that the president, who he said was unaware of the source of the information, made a spur-of-the-moment decision to tell the Russians what he knew.

The information was provided by a partner via an intelligence-sharing arrangement deemed so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government.

The Republican billionaire's administration, now just barely four months old, left reeling by the one-two punch, which sparked instant outrage from Democrats who demanded a full explanation.

The order allows the president to determine the system of designating classified information, and he is the ultimate authority over US intelligence agencies, which gather and classify the information.

The latest revelations come after a presidential campaign in which Trump ridiculed the USA intelligence community for its conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in an effort to hurt his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

The meeting with the Russians came a day after the firing, and was controversial in itself - a red carpet welcome for Russian President Vladimir Putin's top aides months after Russia was hit with U.S. sanctions for meddling in the election. Former president George W. Bush, for instance, even brought in Russian President Vladimir Putin to the president's daily brief.

White House denies Trump disclosed intelligence. 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 a freakish twist on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to turn over to Congress records of Trump's discussions.

"I think we need to come up with some sort of punishment for him, because he didn't share this secret information, not with us, not with the special services".

The administration spent the first half of Tuesday defending Trump's disclosure of classified information to senior Russian officials. "The president in no way compromised any sources or methods in the course of this conversation".

Trump came under fire earlier this week after it was revealed that he shared the sensitive intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.

Though the United States president is allowed to declassify and share classified information at any moment, the issue has sparked a huge uproar over whether Trump compromised national security by disclosing the details to Russian Federation, long considered a hostile country to the US.

"There is a growing sense that Mr. Trump seems unwilling or unable to do the things necessary to keep himself out of trouble, and that the presidency has done little to tame a shoot-from-the-hip-into-his-own-foot style that characterized his campaign".

"Lacking credibility makes dealing with crises infinitely more hard", said Alex Conant, a Republican communications strategist who advised the presidential bid of Florida Sen. "If the report is true, it is very disturbing", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of the Democrats.

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey said more information from the White House about what happened is essential.

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Asked why the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency were put on notice if the revelations were not problematic, McMaster cast the notification as being provided "from an overabundance of caution".

The disclosure put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the disclosure on Monday.

The CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have declined to comment.

"My major concern right now is that I don't know what the president said", Burr said.