U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster answers questions during a press briefing at the White House in Washington D.C. http://www.philadelphiaflyersteamstore.com/adidas-dave-schultz-jersey , the United States, on May 16, 2017. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said on Tuesday that it was "wholly appropriate" for President Donald Trump to share classified information with Russian officials during their meeting in the Oval Office last week. (XinhuaYin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, May 16 (Xinhua) -- National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said on Tuesday that it was "wholly appropriate" for President Donald Trump to share classified information with Russian officials during their meeting in the Oval Office last week.
Trump decided to mention the information in the "context of the conversation" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, McMaster told reporters in the White House, calling it "wholly appropriate to that conversation" and "consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leader with whom he's engaged."
During those conversations, Trump disclosed the city from which the intelligence was derived, McMaster confirmed.
However, McMaster did not make clear if the information was highly classified as the Washington Post reported one day earlier.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he has "the absolute right" to share certain information with Russia.
"As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. 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 & terrorism," he said in a pair of tweets Tuesday morning.
But the president also didn't specifically say whether he spilled highly classified information to Russian officials.
Trump reportedly relayed information from a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria when meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The related information-sharing arrangement was considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, according to the Post report.
In response, McMaster, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell all issued statements later on Monday, claiming such reports are wrong.
Powell said in a statement, "This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced."
"At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly," said McMaster, who participated in the meeting.
The Post report said Trump appeared to be boasting of the "great intel" he receives when he described a looming terror threat, citing an official with knowledge of the exchange.
The information was provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. The partner did not give the United States permission to share the information with Russia, the Post said.
Following the meeting, the White House contacted the CIA and National Security Agency to contain the damage, according to the Post.
As U.S. president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that such disclosures broke the law. However, he is facing a deepening trust crisis as a new poll released Tuesday finds nearly half of U.S. voters (48 percent) said they would support Trump's impeachment, while only 41 percent would oppose such charges.
The White House is in a "downward spiral" and needs to do something to get "under control," Republican Senator Bob Corker said following the Post report.
Trump's approval ratings have been hovering in the high 30s and 40s. According to Gallup, Trump has the lowest approval of any new president since the surveys began in 1953.
DHAKA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- A large number of arms and ammunition have been recovered in Bangladesh as law security forces stormed two militant hideouts in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka on Saturday.
Shah Mizan Shafiur Rahman, superintendent of Savar police, told journalists that a team of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) conducted the raid at a six-story building and a two-storey building.
The unit claimed to have seized seven grenades and three suicide vests.
After evacuating locals and residents from adjacent houses, law enforcers resumed their operation after a bomb disposal unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) reached the spot Saturday morning.
As the security forces broke into a room of one of the suspected militant dens, a loud explosion was heard.
A woman and two children were reportedly rescued from the house.
Law enforcers were primarily sure that the dens belong to "Neo-JMB."
The Neo-JMB, an offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, was blamed for the deadly attack on July 1, 2016 at a Spanish cafe in Dhaka, which killed 22 people, mostly foreigners.
Bangladeshi police so far conducted series of large-scale operations against militants, in which dozens of militants were killed.
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