President Donald Trump’s alleged decision to reveal classified intelligence to Russian officials is prompting shocked reactions around the world.
The Washington Post reported on Monday that Trump disclosed highly classified information about ISIS in last week’s meeting with Russian officials. Further reports by Reuters and BuzzFeed also cited government officials to confirm that Trump shared intelligence about an anticipated terrorism operation.
European officials quickly decried the news.
Senior German lawmaker Burkhard Lischka told the Associated Press that if the president “passes this information to other governments at will, then Trump becomes a security risk for the entire western world.”
Lischka sits on the German parliament’s intelligence oversight committee.
The AP also reported that another European official said that their country might cease sharing information with the US if Trump continues disclosing intelligence at will.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also denied to comment on The Post’s report, while New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee said in a statement that the report was rejected Monday night by senior US officials.
The UK, Australia, and New Zealand are all members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing program, along with the US and Canada.
In Israel, the former director of the country’s top spy agency called the decision to reveal classified intelligence a “grave violation” that “could lead to harm to the source.”
Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he had an “absolute right” to share information about terrorism and flight safety.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on the situation by telling her Facebook followers “not to read American newspapers” that were purposefully creating a “sensation” around Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak. The Russian embassy in the US also refused to comment on the reports.
In Russian media, the story received relatively little attention compared with news of a building explosion and Ukraine’s decision to block access to Russian social media sites.
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