- US officials were so alarmed by President Donald Trump’s decision to reveal classified intelligence to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting in 2017 that they extracted a top-secret source from Russia shortly after, CNN reported on Monday.
- Intelligence officials typically extract sources when they believe the person’s life is in immediate danger.
- The information Trump shared with the Russians wasn’t directly connected to the source, but CNN reported that its disclosure prompted officials to “renew earlier discussions” about the potential risk that the source would be exposed.
- The president has repeatedly been accused of mishandling classified information that could compromise the US’s intelligence-gathering methods and put lives at risk.
The US was forced to extract a top-secret source from Russia after President Donald Trump revealed classified information to two Russian officials in 2017, CNN reported on Monday.
A person directly involved with the discussions told the outlet the US was concerned that Trump and his administration routinely mishandled classified intelligence and that their actions could expose the covert source as a spy within the Russian government.
Trump stunned the national-security apparatus and intelligence community when it surfaced that in an Oval Office meeting in May 2017 he shared the information with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US.
Trump’s disclosure was not specifically about the Russian spy. But his disregard of strict intelligence-sharing rules to protect highly placed sources “prompted intelligence officials to renew earlier discussions about the potential risk” that the source in Russya would be exposed, CNN reported.
At the Oval Office meeting, which took place one day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the president is said to have boasted to the Russians that firing “nut job” Comey had taken “great pressure” off him. Comey had been spearheading the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Read more