Crisis (Or Rather the Latest One)

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Vladimir Putin's top diplomat t... President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Vladimir Putin's top diplomat to the White House for Trump's highest level face-to-face contact with a Russian government official since he took office in January. (Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP) MORE LESS

The Washington Post has just dropped a major story on what went down in that Trump/Sergei Lavrov Oval Office meeting last week. According to the Post, in that meeting, Trump went “off script” and provided Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei highly classified intelligence on the inner workings of the Islamic State. This is a move – if it occurred as described – that would likely gotten any other government official fired and possibly indicted. 

From the Post

One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details about an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

There’s also this nugget …

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and National Security Agency.

It is important to note that any cabinet Secretary responsible for such a breach would also certainly be fired. It’s quite possible such a person would be indicted. But since a President has broad powers to declassify information at his discretion, Trump himself likely did not violate any law. In other words, Trump’s decision to share the information with Lavrov likely amounts in legal terms to him declassifying the info.

More to follow. Read the whole piece here.

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