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Former officials call Trump's disclosure "serious"

20 May 2017

Mr Trump tweeted that he had shared "facts pertaining to terrorism and airline safety" and wanted Russian Federation to do more against so-called Islamic State.

"I can't explain the. accusations against (Trump) that he allegedly disclosed some kind of secrets to (Russian Foreign Minister Sergey) Lavrov", Putin said. He drew a distinction between leaks and Trump's conversation with the Russians, saying the discussion with the Russian officials involved shared threats to the US and Russia.

The extraordinary leak of Trump's private conversations in the Oval Office appeared to be a direct effect of the president's combative relationship with the USA spy agencies.

The White House's botched handling of Trump's firing last week of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the bureau's Russian Federation probe, and the president's own volatile statements about his actions are also likely to raise questions among allies about the US leader's standing.

"And by Tuesday morning, Trump was justifying his actions, writing on Twitter that he had an "absolute right" to share the information about "terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russian Federation". He said he made a decision to do so for "humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS [the militant Islamic State group or IS] and terrorism".

McMcaster did not deny that Trump discussed classified information.

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One official, who requested anonymity to discuss dealing with the president, said last month: "He has no filter; it's in one ear and out the mouth".

"Never before have I witnessed a senior government official so carelessly threaten an intelligence-sharing relationship", a former senior intelligence official told CNN.

The controversy engulfed the White House.

Asked if President can be trusted with classified information, Republican Bob Corker, a Tennessee senator, told reporters "sure" and shrugged.

He said that Moscow initially viewed debates about Russia's meddling in United States politics as "funny" but said Moscow is now "concerned because it's hard to imagine what the people who produce such nonsense can come up with next".

Russia's state-run TASS agency confirmed that Putin offered to release minutes of the talks between Trump and the Russian envoy during their May 10 meeting at the White House.

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National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC on May 16, 2017. "I have been asking [sacked FBI] director [James] Comey and others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the leakers in the intelligence community", he tweeted.

"Sharing intelligence with an adversary jeopardizes counterterrorism cooperation with partners and undermines U.S national security", Bennet said.

Of course, Domenico adds, "It is highly unlikely - there's nearly zero chance - Trump would be impeached by a Republican Congress".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson disputed the report. The scope of that investigation included whether Trump's campaign was linked to the Russian meddling.

The Russian president said he initially found debates about Russia's meddling in US politics as "funny" but said Moscow is now "concerned because it's hard to imagine what the people who produce such nonsense can come up with next".

"Revealing classified information at this level is extremely unsafe and puts at risk the lives of Americans and those who gather intelligence for our country". AP writer Paisley Dodds contributed from London.

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Former officials call Trump's disclosure