White House officials denied reports Monday evening that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian officials. “This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced,” Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell told NBC News’ Peter Alexander.
In his own statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed that “during President Trump’s meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed, among which were common efforts and threats regarding counterterrorism. During that exchange, the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations.”
In a statement included in The Washington Post’s initial report on the disclosure, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said, “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation... At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.” As of Monday evening, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and BuzzFeed had all independently reported that Trump had disclosed classified information to Russian officials. All three outlets cited at least two current or former government officials as their sources.