They said it was considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the US government.
"But I will say this: we have a very long-standing and very successful relationship with our Five Eyes allies", Goodale told reporters, referring to the western security and intelligence alliance that includes Canada and the USA, along with Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Trump aides said he never tried to squelch the Flynn investigation nor made inappropriate disclosures to the Russians.
Trump's national security adviser also insisted Tuesday the story was no big deal.
Conversations with some officials who have briefed Trump and others who are aware of how he absorbs information portray a president with a short attention span.
Trump himself has raised doubts about the credibility of what his representatives say.
"Leaving aside the legality issue, the longstanding custom is that no one is supposed to in any way compromise sources of information", said Mark J. Rozell, Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. "The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced". CNN's report indicates that Trump shared intel that was not, as McMaster previously claimed, "from open-source reporting", but McMaster declined to confirm whether the information was classified.
According to the New York Times, the intelligence Trump shared belongs to Israel, one of the U.S.'s primary military and intelligence partners.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump asked FBI Director James Comey in a meeting to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his ties to Russian Federation. The Trump team had been asked since the operation was likely to be carried out after Trump took office.
Presidential rhetoric and gaffes overseas have caused problems for some of Trump's predecessors.
"Reports that this information was provided by a USA ally and shared without its knowledge sends a troubling signal to America's allies and partners around the world and may impair their willingness to share intelligence with us in the future", said McCain, R-Ariz. By doing so, Trump would have jeopardized co-operation from an ally familiar with the inner workings of the Islamic State group, and make other allies - or even US intelligence officials - wary about sharing future top secret details with the president.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of IL said he senses from "very private" conversations that some of his Republican colleagues are beginning to crack, tired and frustrated by the constant chaos coming from the White House.
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media during a meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, not pictured, at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. "And the president is truly creating chaos", said Sen.
That's especially true for an adversary like Russian Federation, he said.
S spies warned their Israeli counterparts that Russian Federation may have "levers of pressure" over Donald Trump and told them to be careful about sharing intelligence with the White House in case it was passed on to the Kremlin, according to Israeli media reports. Brown said in a conference telephone call with OH media.
"The president is the commander in chief, he decides what is ultimately classified information and what is not, and we all make mistakes obviously, but I think most of us believe that the president in terms of our national security interests is going to put America first", said Sen. "A very significant amount of actionable intelligence we get comes from thousands of relationships that our operatives have with sources and other intelligence agencies".
"These reports, if true, are of the gravest possible concern. It could harm our national security by cutting off important sources of intelligence that protect Americans against terrorist acts".
The White House disputed Comey's account of the February conversation concerning Flynn, but did not offer specifics. "And he made a decision based on that", deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told MSNBC.
Muffled yelling was heard coming from the area near the room, but after a reporter tweeted about the noise, press staffers quickly turned up their television volume, blasting the sound to drown out everything else.