McMaster Doesn’t Deny Trump Gave Classified Info to Russia

During his Tuesday press briefing, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster made a stunning admission by omission.

McMaster argued that President Trump wasn’t aware of the classified status of the information Trump disclosed to Russian officials, adding that he had no idea where it came from prior to sharing it with emissaries of a foreign government. While defending Trump from claims that he was endangering international relationships, McMaster never once denied the Post‘s original claim that Trump shared classified information without prior authorization, despite saying yesterday in a statement from the White House lawn that the Post’s story was false:

The White House’s chief national security official spoke with reporters for 17 minutes from the White House briefing room, answering questions on yesterday’s blistering Washington Post report. The paper cited unnamed administration personnel who told reporters that during his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week, President Trump gave up classified information that compromised a code-word source from a “partner” nation in the region.

The source was apparently providing intelligence on Islamic State (ISIS) activities, and in a tweet sent Tuesday morning, Trump defended disclosing the sensitive intel, claiming that it was done to push Russian forces to increase their efforts against ISIS in Syria.

Reporters at the hearing noted that McMaster left many more questions unanswered by the time he left the lectern after 17 minutes of back-and-forth with the press. Reporters also pointed out that by tweeting about it, Trump contradicted his own National Security Adviser’s claims that the Post‘s report was false:

The lack of denial about leaking classified information is particularly astounding, given that one main element of President Trump’s 2016 campaign was that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, endangered the security of classified information through her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

Watch the full briefing below:

 

Jamie Green is a contributor to the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.