President Donald Trump revealed highly classified intelligence on the Islamic State during a May 10 oval office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, The Washington Post reports.
The intelligence was reportedly given to the U.S. by an ally who did not give the government permission to share it with other allies, let alone the Russian government. The information appears to stem from an ISIS plot on commercial aviation originating in a town controlled by the terrorist group.
Buzzfeed News corroborated the report Monday, citing two U.S. officials who had been briefed on Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak. “It’s far worse than what has already been reported,” one of the officials told Buzzfeed.
Trump’s revelation of the specific town the plot originated in was reportedly the key problem is his disclosure. The name could point Russia towards the source of the intelligence, which may also be providing information to U.S. allies about Russia’s presence inside Syria. Russia is the main sponsor of the Assad regime in Syria, and has a significant military presence in the country.
“If that partner learned we’d given this to Russia without their knowledge or asking first that is a blow to that relationship,” the official elaborated to WaPo.
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said in response to the allegation. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
The intelligence may have prompted recent discussions between the U.S. and European officials to ban laptop sized electronics from flights originating from Europe. The laptop ban would expand on an existing policy on flights originating in several middle eastern countries.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly may have referenced the intelligence when he told CNN in late April “a thing that keeps me up at night is the intent of terrorists to knock an airplane down in flight.”
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