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By Ryan Pickrell
The Washington Post accused President Donald Trump of leaking “highly-classified information” in a recent meeting with Russian officials, but the only named source in the piece denies it.
Citing anonymous officials, the Post claims that Trump revealed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak unspecified yet high-value information provided by a unidentified partner in the fight against the Islamic State, potentially jeopardizing operations against ISIS and compromising U.S. intelligence sources.
The president reportedly revealed information surrounding an ISIS plot.
Buzzfeed corroborated the story, which cited two anonymous U.S. officials.
White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, the only identified source in WaPo’s report, denies that the president leaked information the U.S. government deemed classified.
“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,” McMaster, who participated in the meeting, told the Post.
However, some have noted that McMaster’s language is intentionally vague and doesn’t indicate an outright denial that classified information was disclosed.
For those who don't speak intel, McMaster's statement is tailored in a way that doesn't deny anything that the story reports https://t.co/rxPl8OFGcU
— Max J. Rosenthal (@maxjrosenthal) May 15, 2017
While it is possible that Trump either intentionally or unintentionally shared classified information, the relevant WaPo report appears to cite indirect sources, such as “an official with knowledge of the meeting” or “former officials.”
Among The Washington Post’s revelations, the paper explained that it “is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.”
If the story is true, this statement indicates that U.S. officials may have leaked classified information to the Post — the exact same information they claim Trump put the nation at risk by revealing.