By Mark Reynolds
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., issued the following statement in reaction to a Washington Post report in which current and former U.S. officials say that President Donald Trump shared “highly classified information” with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a meeting at the White House last week, asserting that the president’s “recklessness with sensitive information is deeply disturbing and clearly problematic.”
“The President of the United States has the power to share classified information with whomever they wish, but the American people expect the President to use that power wisely,” Reed said in a statement. “I don’t believe the President intentionally meant to reveal highly secretive information to the Russians.”
“…if the Washington Post report is accurate,” says the release, “then the President crossed a line that could have a real negative impact on national security…”
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said it appears that Trump, has “been reckless with highly classified information,” which puts intelligence sources and methods under a threat of exposure and undermines the relationships important for keeping the country safe.
“If our allies and partners don’t trust us with critical information because our President can’t protect their secrets, it can be a matter of life and death,” Whitehouse said, “Betraying those secrets to an adversary like Russia – which waged an information war against us as part of a campaign to disrupt our democracy and does not share our interests in Syria or the broader Middle East – is wildly irresponsible.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., said that he is “deeply disturbed” by the reported disclosures, saying that such disclosures could “jeopardize ongoing operations abroad” and “also endanger our cooperation, goodwill, and security agreements with our critical U.S. allies.
“It is also highly troubling that this report comes on the heels of the dismissal of the FBI Director, which the President himself has tied to the ongoing investigation of his campaign’s collusion with Russia,” Langevin said.