President Trump pointed a finger at his fired ex-FBI Director James Comey, as he sent off a series of tweets explaining why he decided to share information, which was likely classified, with Russian officials.
‘I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community….,’ Trump wrote.
Unnamed intelligence community sources told the Washington Post that Trump had revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during their Oval Office meeting last week.
Former FBI Director James Comey (left) got dragged into President Trump’s (right) latest controversey – that he spilled classified infor to the Russians – as Trump pointed out that he had asked Comey to ‘find the LEAKERS’
President Trump dashed off this tweet Tuesday morning, saying that he had asked James Comey and others to find the sources of information leaked to the media. Monday’s blockbuster Washington Post story used unnamed sources
Reporters Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe talked to ‘current and former U.S. officials’ who said Trump’s disclosure could jeopardize a vital source gathering information on the Islamic State.
The U.S. gained access to that source through an intelligence-sharing arrangement ‘considered so sensitive,’ the Post wrote, that allies and other U.S. government officials have been purposely kept out of the loop.
Russia is not considered a U.S. ally.
The White House’s response to the story began by issuing a number of denials, which didn’t get to the meat of the matter – that the president had disclosed classified information that he wasn’t supposed to.
‘At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,’ said Trump’s biggets defender, his National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.
McMaster also took reporters to task for using unnamed sources in the story.
‘Two other senior officials that were present, including the secretary of state, remembered the meeting the same way and have said so,’ McMaster told scribes outside the West Wing Monday night.
‘They’re on-the-record accounts should outweight those of anonymous sources. I was in the room,’ he added. ‘It didn’t happen.’
But on Tuesday morning, Trump dashed off two tweets, giving an explanation, but also seemingly confirming that it did.
‘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….,’ Trump began.
‘…to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,’ the president added.
Trump then looped Comey into the conversation for blaming him for not significantly sniffing out leaks.
Trump’s Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Comey’s inability to stop the leaks was ‘probably one of the many factors’ that led to his dismissal.
‘You can’t deny somebody – that that wasn’t a problem,’ she said. ‘And so I think that was just another one of the many reasons that he no longer had the confidence of the president and the rest of the FBI.’
Now, with Trump bringing Comey into the story again, it glues together the two controversies that have taken over Trump’s White House for a better part of a week, during a time which was supposed to be devoted to promoting the run-up to the president’s first foreign trip.