>> US President Donald Trump on Tuesday defending his decision to share highly classified information about Islamic State, with two top Russian diplomats, potentially jeopardizing an important US intelligence source. Trump tweeting, quote, as President, I wanted to share with Russia at an openly scheduled White House meeting, which I have the absolute right to do.
Facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety, humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism. According to the New York Times, the source of that classified information was Israel, one of American's most important allies. National Security Advisor HR McMaster on Monday denied the report.
>> The story that came out tonight as reported is false.>> Then Tuesday shifting to explain that the president's sharing the information was actually,>> Wholly appropriate.>> Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak just one day before firing FBI Director James Comey who was investigating possible ties between Russia and Trump associates.
The Washington Post first reported that Trump was bragging about US intelligence and let slip classified information that was gathered by a US ally. The Kremlin of Tuesday coming to Trump's defense calling the reports complete nonsense. But the story earned Trump wide rebukes here at home. While Congresses two top Republicans were somewhat muted in their response, others in the party were less reserved.
Senator John McCain calling the reports disturbing. And Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker saying the White House is in a quote, downward spiral. The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the White House for more information on what went down in that meeting. The shock waves from Trump's latest controversy comes as the president plans for his first major international trip later this week to meet with NATO allies, Middle Eastern nations and the Vatican.