Top US lawmakers, including those from the ruling Republican party, today expressed worry over a report that US President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials and sought an explanation from the government.
Though National Security Advisor H R McMaster described the story as false, several lawmakers termed it “dangerous” and demanded a probe into Trump’s relationship with the Russian government.
“I want to know more about it. Obviously, they are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening,” Republican Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of powerful Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.
“The chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think makes — it creates a worrisome environment,” Corker said after The Washington Post in an explosive news report alleged that Trump shared classified information about the fight against ISIS with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when the latter met him at the White House last week.
National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster described the story as false, saying security of the American people is top priority for Trump.
“And I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” McMaster said as Democratic lawmakers and Trump’s political opponents refused to believe in.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said if the report is true it is very disturbing.
“Revealing classified information at this level is extremely dangerous and puts at risk the lives of Americans and those who gather intelligence for our country,” Schumer said.
The president owes the intelligence community, the American people, and Congress a full explanation, he said.
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Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi in a statement, said, “The information President Trump allegedly handed to Vladimir Putin’s regime last week is so highly- classified that our government does not share it with our own allies. In his meeting in the Oval Office, the president reportedly exposed a key intelligence source because he felt like bragging to representatives of a hostile power.”
“As a member of the Oversight Committee, I can honestly say there is no excuse left to not create an independent commission to perform a full-scale investigation of the Russian government’s interference in our democracy and the potential complicity of members of both the Trump presidential campaign and President Trump’s administration,” he said.
Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal called for an independent investigations into Trump’s relationship with the Russian Government.
“This should concern us all. With each action, Donald Trump puts us all at risk — and further strengthens the argument for his administration’s possible ties to the Russians. This news, paired with the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, should be cause for deep concern,” she said.
Congressman John Delaney said the report, if true, is one of the most “shocking and distressing” news stories.
“If this report is true, President Trump has undermined our fight against terrorism. Revealing highly-classified information to an adversary like Russia is either pure incompetence or an attempt to place Russia above our allies and key partners – either way the implications are amazingly worrying,” Delaney said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan expects full explanation about it from the Trump administration, said his spokesman.
“We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation’s secrets is paramount. The Speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration,” his spokesman Doug Andres said in a statement.
“Risking sources and methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians,” Senator Mark R Warner, Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said in a tweet.
According to Politico, the news has brought in chaos in the White House.
“It never stops,” one White House official said via text message last night to Politico.
“Basically chaos at all times,” the official said.