Trump defends sharing terrorism 'facts' with Russians

Col. James Waurishuk If there is a ‘mole hunt’ the reason will be because U.S. officials leaked the intelligence information to the press

Col. James Waurishuk If there is a ‘mole hunt’ the reason will be because U.S. officials leaked the intelligence information to the press

Until, it appears, President Donald Trump told Russian visitors it came from a city in Islamic State territory and appears to have hinted at an ally as the source.

The revelations could further damage Trump's already fraught relationship with USA intelligence agencies.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump acknowledged that he had shared the information, said that he had an "absolute right" to do so, and he had done so to encourage Russian Federation to ramp up its efforts against the Islamic State.

He said his written statement "was just a more realistic view of how important it is to understand how closely some of this (classified) information has to be held and why".

The information appears to be related to the basis for a USA and British decision in March to bar laptops and tablets from being carried on board worldwide flights from cities in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. On Wednesday, U.S. officials will meet with members of the European Union to discuss a possible laptop ban. United States media said Mr Trump had shared material that was passed on by a partner which had not given permission.

The intelligence reportedly came from a United States ally that did not authorise Washington to share it with Moscow.

Asked what he thinks of Trump presidency, Putin said it's up to the American people to judge but his performance can only be rated "only when he's allowed to work at full capacity", implying that someone is hampering Trump's efforts.

That means secrets are governed by the president and not by laws passed by Congress.

Typically, that has been interpreted to mean that the president has the ultimate authority to classify and to declassify information.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available. These include the Espionage Act and Identities Protection Act.

He added, "The president and his administration must protect our national security by making certain sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands". It is extraordinary for a president to share such information without consent of the country that collected it, apparently violating the confidentiality of an intelligence-sharing agreement with Israel.

NHS 'open for business' amid 'international manhunt' for cyber attackers
In a statement, the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, denied that under-investment in cybersecurity had caused the problem. Health bosses have heaped praise on hard-working IT staff tackling the after effects of a cyber attack on the NHS .

A breach of trust raises the possibility that USA friends might curtail such intelligence partnerships out of concern their secrets - and their sources and methods - could end up in the wrong hands.

The fact that the secrets went to Russian Federation, an adversary of the US and many of its allies, was especially alarming.

US intelligence-sharing agreements include the Five Eyes program with Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand. These countries share vast amounts of information and promise not to spy on each other.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office had not responded to requests for comment, while the foreign ministry declined comment. Even sharing limited amounts of intelligence about terrorist targets with Russian Federation, in Syria for example, has been the source of major controversy in the past.

The paper said the fears were compounded by Russia's links with Israel's arch-foe Iran.

She said the British relationship with the U.S. "is the most important defence and security relationship that we have around the world".

Earlier, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said that during the exchange "the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations".

The White House acknowledged Trump made the decision essentially on the spot.

Trump later was informed that he had broken protocol and White House officials placed calls to the National Security Agency and the CIA looking to minimize any damage.

Even when intelligence is declassified, the government typically keeps secret the ways it acquired the intelligence.

The disclosure put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the disclosure on Monday.

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