(AP) President Donald Trump defended revealing information to Russian officials, saying in a pair of tweets Tuesday that he shared “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” and had “the absolute right ” to do so.
Trump was responding to reports Monday that he revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week, putting a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk.
But Trump tweeted that he shared the information for “humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism.”
Trump says he wanted to share with Russia “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.” He noted that as president he has an “absolute right” to do this.
The reports by The Washington Post and others drew strong condemnation from democrats and a rare rebuke of Trump from some republican lawmakers. White House officials denounce the report, saying the president did not disclose intelligence sources or methods to the Russians, though officials did not deny that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting.