you’re fascinated with yourself, you little whore (i don’t mean tyler)

WaPo: Trump Revealed “Highly Classified Information” In Meeting With Russians, White House Denies
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 15 2017

Update:

As expected, immediately after Wapo published their latest provocative Trump story, the mainstream media echo chamber went into full effect, first NYT.

And Reuters:

This tweet sums it up pretty well:

Tillerson, McMaster and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell, all of whom were in the room during the meeting in question, all issued statements denying that classified information was divulged:

Tillerson: During Pres Trump’s meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism. During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations.
McMaster: The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.
Dina Powell: This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.

Finally, Paul Ryan’s office seems to have no idea what’s going on.

EARLIER

Citing “current and former Pindo boxtops,” all anonymous of course, the WaPo has just reported that Trump revealed “highly classified information” to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week which jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on Daesh. Per WaPo, the sensitive information allegedly relayed by Trump had been provided by a partner country through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the Pindo government.

The partner had not given Pindostan 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 Daesh. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and NSA. “This is codeword information,” said a Pindo boxtop familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by Pindostani spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.” A former senior Pindo boxtop close to current administration officials. said: “Trump seems to be very reckless, and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”

According to the WaPo’s rendition of the story, the “highly classified information” was shared as Trump was boasting about the quality of his daily intelligence briefings in last week’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to an official with knowledge of the exchange, Trump said:

I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.

Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that Pindostan only learned through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how Daesh was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in Daesh’s territory where the partner country detected the threat. A former senior Pindo counter-terrorism boxtop who also worked closely with members of the Trump national security team said:

Everyone knows this stream is very sensitive and the idea of sharing it at this level of granularity with the Russians is troubling.

Per the WaPo, he and others spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject. Meanwhile, in an effort to add mystique to the story, and undoubtedly to draw a clear delineation between their “responsible journalism” and Julian Assange’s reckless, hostile, non-state cyber-terrorism, the WaPo went on to note that they’re withholding most of the juicy plot details, including the name of the city where the intelligence was gathered, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.

The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, boxtops said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the ally or intelligence capability involved. Boxtops said that the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow and would be keenly interested in identifying that source and possibly disrupting it. Russia and Pindostan both regard Daesh as an enemy and share limited information about terrorist threats. But the two nations have competing agendas in Syria, where Moscow has deployed military assets and personnel to support Assad. The senior Pindo boxtop said: “Russia could identify our sources or techniques.” A former intelligence boxtop who handled high-level intelligence on Russia said that given the clues Trump provided, “I don’t think that it would be that hard to figure this out.”

So, just to clarify, Trump leaking to the Russians is bad, but anonymous sources leaking to Wapo is just fine. Ironically, the only named source in the WaPo’s article is National Security Advisor H R McMaster who notes that the entire story is nothing more than “fake news.”  Of course, that didn’t stop anyone from running the headline or spiking the story.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said McMaster, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

This latest story from WaPo comes after two similarly provocative stories were published by the NYT and WaPo last week and then promptly debunked by the FBI and DoJ. First there was the story from the NYT saying that Comey had asked for a “significant increase” in funding for his Russia probe just days before he was fired and then WaPo ran a story saying that Rod Rosenstein had threatened to quit when Trump attributed the Comey firing to his letter.  Both accusations were subsequently denied on the record by the DoJ. As we noted last week, even Andrew McCabe, the acting FBI Director whose wife sourced campaign funds directly from a close Hillary Clinton confidant dismantled the NYT’s funding narrative in his Senate testimony by noting that the FBI doesn’t even make funding requests for individual investigations.

Senator: “Can you confirm that that request was, in fact, made?”
McCabe: “I can not confirm that request was made. As you know, when we need resources, we make those requests here. So, I’m not aware of that request and it’s not consistent with my understanding of how we request additional resources. That said, we don’t typically request resources for an individual case.  And as I mentioned, I strongly believe that the Russia investigation is adequately resourced.”

We’re awaiting confirmation that Chuck Schumer has called for yet another Senate hearing on this latest unsubstantiated “media report.”

Trump Says He Divulged Intelligence to Russians Because He’s Such a Great Guy
Robert Mackey, Intercept, May 16 2017

Twelve hours after his national security adviser called a WaPo report that he had shared highly classified information with Russia “false,” Pres Trump chose not to do so, arguing instead that his office gives him “the absolute right” to share “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” with even an adversary. In two unusually restrained and carefully worded tweets posted Tuesday morning, Trump seemed to admit that he had, as the WaPo reported, described “details of a Daesh terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft,” in his Oval Office meeting last week with Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Kislyak.

Given that Trump is usually so fond of tweeting allegations of “fake news” in response to unflattering reports, that he did not do so in this case appears to be a tacit admission that he did share intelligence on militants in Syria with the Russians and that, as the WaPo reported, currently serving Pindo boxtops are aware that he did. Rather than contest the accuracy of the report, Trump focused on the fact that, as president, he has the legal authority to declassify information and so cannot be prosecuted for sharing secrets with Russia, as any other government official could be. He also tried to cast it as a generous and wise move. Since the Pindo government recently barred the use of laptops on board flights from the Middle East because of a reported Daesh, it is unclear how Trump could have tried to help Russia unless he did share some previously unreported detail. While the White House argued later in the morning that Trump’s statement was not an admission that he had shared classified information, an official with knowledge of the exchange told the WaPo that he had. According to the official, Trump made the perhaps inadvertent revelation while boasting about what he knew of a reported Daesh plot to use a laptop to bomb a commercial flight to Pindostan. An excerpt from the reported Trump monologue, “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” certainly sounds like something the deeply insecure commander-in-chief would say, as several observers noted.

One Euro vassal told AP that the possibility that Trump might share sensitive information obtained by them without their permission could lead them to stop passing on news of threats obtained in the future.

The episode also cast new light on Trump’s repeated assertions on the campaign trail that Hillary Clinton was unfit to govern because she had forwarded emails containing classified information to State Dept aides so they could print them out for her.

The president’s decision to abandon the “fake news” defense also appeared to undermine McMaster:

As the WaPo blogger Aaron Blake pointed out, McMaster’s statement focused on denying things that the WaPo had not reported, that Trump had discussed intelligence sources or methods directly with the Russians or had disclosed military operations that were not already publicly known.The national security adviser pointedly did not deny central aspects of the WaPo’s reporting: that Pindo boxtops were alarmed that Trump had divulged “aspects of the threat that Pindostan learned only through the espionage capabilities of” an allied nation, which had not given permission for its intelligence to be shared with Russia, and “revealed the city in Daesh’s territory where the intelligence partner detected the threat,” which could help Russia identify the source of the intelligence and possibly disrupt it in support of the Syrian government. As Barton Gellman, a former WaPo correspondent, pointed out, the fact that the newspaper was asked by government officials not to reveal details of the plot divulged by Trump strongly suggests that their report was accurate.

Trump’s admission that he did share information with the Russian diplomats at an Oval Office meeting only a Russian news agency was allowed to photograph also contradicted Maria Zakharova, who accused the WaPo of publishing “fake” information as part of a plot to undermine Trump by tying him to Russia. Zakharova is the Russian official who said recently that, to understand what is really happening in Pindostan, “You have to talk to the Jews,” instead of reading Pindo newspapers.

Trump’s contradiction of the Russian spokeswoman also appeared to catch his biggest boosters, the cast of “Fox and Friends,” by surprise, as the historian Keven Kruse noted.

There was some sign, too, that the episode could be eroding Trump’s support among Thugs in Congress. Rep Mike Gallagher, who previously served as a Marine intelligence officer in Iraq, called on the White House to provide the House and Senate intelligence committees, which are investigating Trump’s ties to Russia, with a transcript of the president’s conversation with the Russian foreign minister.

The WaPo’s report that such a transcript does exist also added to speculation that meetings in the Oval Office are, indeed, recorded, as Trump had hinted in a tweet threatening Comey last week. A short time later, Chuck Schumer also called on the White House to make a transcript available to the Congressional intelligence committees. Later in the day, McMaster refused to deny that Trump had revealed classified information. He also offered reporters the less than reassuring fact:

The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from. He wasn’t briefed on the source and method of the information either.

McMaster: Trump Didn’t Even Know Where Intel Came From; His Disclosure Was Appropriate
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 16 2017

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McMaster said Trump did not put intelligence assets in jeopardy by revealing highly sensitive information to Russian officials, adding that Trump did not know where the intel came from and that the conversation in the Oval Office last week was “wholly appropriate.” He did however refuse to describe what Trump told the Russian diplomats, or acknowledge that classified information was shared with them. McMaster said:

I stand by my statement that I made yesterday. What I’m saying is that the premise of that article was false. What the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate for that conversation. I’m not concerned at all that allies might stop sharing intelligence. The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from, as he wasn’t briefed on the source. The president in no way undermined sources or methods in the course of this conversation. The information concerned could be found in open-source reporting. At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.

While McMaster did not deny that Trump discussed highly classified information during the May 10 meeting with Sergei Lavrov and Sergeyi Kislyak, he attacked leakers who revealed the contents of the discussion to media outlets, saying that was the story that should be getting more attention.   He echoed Trump in blaming leakers within the government for any breach of security. “The premise of that article was false” McMaster, who was present at last week’s meeting, told reporters at a briefing. McMaster also hinted that the administration would conduct a broader investigation into the leaks that led to the reports. McMaster said:

The premise of that article was false. The really issue is our national security has been put at risk by those violating confidentiality and releasing information to the press. I think national security is put at risk by this leak and leaks like this. It’s incumbent on all of us to bring in the people with the right mandate and the right authorities to take a look at how this leak occurred and how other breaches may have occurred as well.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump claimed an “absolute right” to share information about terrorism with Russian officials, even as congress critturs of both genders expressed alarm over the reports. Trump said in a series of tweets on Tuesday:

As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled WH 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 Daesh & terrorism.

Demagogs, and even some Thugs lambasted Trump’s revelation, saying it could put sources at risk and alienate key intelligence-sharing partners. Several congress critturs have called on the administration to release transcripts of the conversation to clear up confusion about it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s