Another twist to the story from earlier this week regarding whether President Trump shared classified intelligence with Russian diplomats during a recent meeting. It’s been established that the President can declassify and share intelligence with anyone based on his own purview. However, the concern is whether it was done with disregard to the safety of the source of the intelligence being shared and how that may affect intelligence gathering under the Trump administration moving forward.

Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin says he can offer proof that President Trump didn’t offer any compromising information during the meeting, because he has a transcript:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had not passed any secrets onto Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting in Washington last week and that he could prove it.

Speaking at a news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Putin quipped that Lavrov had not passed what he said were the non-existent secrets onto him either.

Putin said Russia was ready to hand a transcript of Trump’s meeting with Lavrov over to U.S. lawmakers if that would help reassure them.

I don’t know if this helps or hurts the situation. Does anyone trust Vladimir Putin? You’d also think the United States would also have a transcript of the meeting if Russia does, do these transcripts match?

Aside from the politics and optics of the matter, there is a greater question of whether the media should be publishing these leaks, which arguably harms national security, while simultaneously accusing the Trump administration of harming national security. The original Washington Post story about the Russia-Trump information exchange pointed out that revealing this information might let the Russian’s discover the source of the intel, which could then endanger the lives of agents in the field.

Despite that concern, the New York Times went ahead and revealed the source as being Israeli intelligence:

The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to an episode that has renewed questions about how the White House handles sensitive intelligence.

Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and runs one of the most active espionage networks in the Middle East. Mr. Trump’s boasting about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries and raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the region.

Well… gee, you say it could damage our relationship with Israel to reveal this information? Yet, you went ahead and revealed this information? If it weren’t for leaks from somewhere within the administration or intelligence community, the Washington Post never would have had a story, and this entire thing would have remained classified during the private meeting between the President and Russian diplomats. Presidents meet foreign diplomats all the time in private and share information, but this one with the Russians fits the “Russia meddled in the election so Trump is paying them back” narrative.

Besides, this story will be probably dead soon since the latest question of whether Trump personally asked Comey to end the Flynn investigation will take center stage. More on that one later.

Update

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) says the offer from Putin is absurd:

15 COMMENTS

  1. First the 9th circuit showed they don’t care about the safety of the people of the US. Now news writers are involved. Why?

  2. Nate, you’re forcing me to question your intelligence yet again.

    WaPo did NOT reveal the information. If they did, we would now know exactly what the information was. They simply reported that Trump revealed the information to Russia.

    Like all conservatives, you feel that exposing problematic or criminal behavior is worse than committing such behavior. That’s why you all hate the media and whistleblowers.

    The rest of us have understood the important role of independent journalism in holding elected officials responsible foe their behavior.

    The conservative dream is living in a regressive dictatorship with zero political transparency, and thus you don’t see any problem with Trump.

    My goal is a progressive democracy with full transparency, i.e. the exact opposite of yours.

      • Neither WaPo not NYT revealed what the information was. NYT said revealing the information would be harmful, and you used that statement to accuse NYT of doing what they said would be harmless, which they did NOT, as even you now seem to acknowledge.

        Focus on being accurate in your reporting, rather than pretending as if you deliberately spread false information in order to “troll” your readers. While you are undoubtedly dumb, I don’t think your reading comprehension is quite this bad. I will assume you’re being dishonest.

        • I didn’t say they revealed what the information was anywhere in my story, find your glasses.

          The Washington Post did not reveal what the information was, only that information was shared with Russians.

          The New York Times revealed the source of the shared information as Israel even though they have no idea what the information was. Do you understand that? It’s not hard.

          Then the New York Times said that revealing information from an ally like Israel could harm our relationship with them. It’s in their own story, which I quoted above in the second paragraph. Yet if it were not for the New York TImes, nobody would know the source of the information.

          I can’t help you understand any better than that, my friend. You really need not be so hostile with me and I’ll be much more inclined to actually discuss things with you. County to ten, and don’t be so angry at people who don’t say exactly what you want them to say.

          • You’re both behind. The last I heard, Israel revealed to us that ISIS has been planning to bomb a plane using a laptop, and Trump thought that was so cool that he shared it with his buddies from Russia.

            • That’s what I said, Goethe. I.e. I am not “behind.” Nate, however, seems to think NYT did the leaking, for some reason. I wonder what fake news site he’s been reading. My guess is Infowars. What’s yours?

          • Yes, NYT said that revealing information from Israel might be harmful. NYT did NOT reveal information about Israel. Trump did.

            Nate, I’m starting to think you’re severely mentally handicapped.

            I don’t need a discussion with you. I’m fact checking your crappy, incorrect articles.

  3. It seems to me the question really is: Why would Trump reveal anything of sensitive nature to Russsia that would damage our relationship with another nation? Especially the nation that gave us the information Trump so freely passed on.
    The answer lies in the simple fact that Trump has a personal debt obligation to Russia. After four bankruptcies, American banks would no longer lend Trump money. He found banks in Russia that would finance his projects in Europe which proved very profitable to both. Trump soon returned to his millionaire status and Russia had a friend.

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