This handout photo taken on May 10, 2017 and made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry shows US President Donald Trump (L) posing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 10, 2017. (Via AFP)
Russia has rejected recent reports that US President Donald Trump shared with it information on “a planned Daesh operation.”
The Washington Post recently carried a story saying Trump had done so in a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak last week. Reuters reported similarly, citing two “US officials.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reacted on Tuesday by calling the reports “fake,” Russian news
agency Interfax said.
The original reports said that the information had been provided by a Washington ally and revealing it could put the US in harm’s way due to their “top secret” nature and due to the purported fact that Trump had refused to consult that ally before sharing it.
In his conversations with the Russian officials, Trump appeared to be boasting about his knowledge of the looming threats, telling them he was briefed on “great intel every day,” an official with knowledge of the exchange said, according to the Post.
Assistant Minority Leader at US Senate Dick Durbin has called the alleged development “dangerous” and “reckless,” and Bob Corker, the Republican head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, described the allegations “very, very troubling” if true.
Trump is already in hot waters over claims that his electoral campaign benefited from Russian assistance and over his recent dismissal of FBI Director James Comey (seen below), who was overseeing a probe into those claims.
Earlier in the year, Michael Flynn was forced out of his job as Trump’s national security adviser after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had had with the Russian ambassador in late December 2016.
The conversation, which took place before Trump’s inauguration, had centered around lifting the then-president Barack Obama’s sanctions against Russia. Any discussion of sanctions at that time would have amounted to a breach of US law banning private citizens from engaging in foreign policy