At a meeting in the Oval Office with Russian government officials on May 10, 2017, President Donald Trump released classified information that was considered too “sensitive” to be shared.
Trump held a meeting with Russian Foreign Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss ideas “pertaining to terrorism and airline flight security.” Reportedly, Trump overstepped his boundaries and revealed top-secret information that was given to him from a foreign intelligence. U.S. officials stated that the foreign-intelligence did not give Trump permission to share the information given to the U.S.
The “classified” information revealed during the meeting was said to be so secretive that it was not shared between other Allies nor was it talked about openly inside the U.S. government. The information that was discussed between Trump, Kislyak, and Lavrov included a terror threat from ISIS, which involved the implantation of explosives in laptop computers.
Inside sources explained that the information was described in great detail to the Russian government officials, and it could lead to the the discovery of the exact foreign-intelligence that gathered all of the information, endangering the lives of the people that participated in the espionage system.
After Trump revealed the classified details from the foreign-intelligence, officials fear that the relationship between the U.S. and the ally that shared the information with Trump could become endangered. Other allies may think twice before sharing top-secret information with the American government.
Freshman Alexis Aviles said, “Trump should have known better than to tell other government officials information that was not originally his. Now America will have a bad reputation.”
Many U.S. officials are critical about the meeting between Trump and the Russian officials because American reporters or photographers were not present during the discussion. The only source of press that was permitted entrance into the Oval Office was a Russian-state photographer who snapped photos of Trump with Kislyak and Lavrov.
Soon, rumors declared that the “foreign-intelligence” that discovered ISIS’ plans of a future attack was Israel, who did not confirm the allegations. Instead, they expressed their hope of strengthening their relationship with the U.S.
During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 22, Trump stated that he did not mention the name “Israel” as the source of information when he talked with Russian officials.
On May 16, 2017, Trump’s security adviser H.R. McMaster addressed the reveal of the “sensitive” information. McMaster explained that all of the ideas discussed during the meeting between Trump, Kislyak, and Lavrov were “wholly appropriate” and the identity of the foreign-intelligence was not named. McMaster reassured the press that Trump did not “compromise any source” provided by the foreign-intelligence and that Trump was not “aware of where the information came from.”
McMaster said, “It is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people.”
A couple hours after McMaster’s press conference, Trump responded to the press via Twitter and defended his actions. Trump explained that it was his “absolute right” to release any type of information that he pleased to Kislyak and Lavrov. As president, Trump is permitted to “declassify” any details that are recommended as too secretive to share with other nations.
Therefore, the possibility that Trump might face legal issues due to his actions is unlikely. Trump also explained in his tweet that he would like Russia to strengthen their fight against ISIS with the U.S. as well.
Freshman Justin Tran said, “The fact that Trump opened his mouth and shared classified information with the Russians does not sit well with me. He should think about where this information could go in the hands of the Russian officials.”
Do you think that Trump and other government officials should be more careful as to what type of information they share? Why?