Friday, 20 October, 2017

Trump turmoil grows over Russian Federation intel

The classified information Donald Trump shared is from Israeli sources: report Besieged White House denies, defends as new bombshells hit
Dexter Carr | 18 May, 2017, 16:45

If that's not chilling enough, there is the distinct possibility the Russians may have a complete transcript of what Trump said, since their state-owned news agency, Tass, was allowed to remain in the room when USA news media was barred.

It's also imperative that Congress get to the bottom of the new allegations of attempted meddling with Comey, which could turn out to be definitive evidence that Trump tried to influence the Justice Department and FBI investigation into links between his associates and Russian Federation.

"Anyway, this is a USA matter, and we don't want and don't plan to interfere", the Russian president said. He also declined to say whether the White House would share transcripts of Trump's meeting with Lavrov with politicians who have asked for them.

Late Tuesday, the White House issued a furious denial after the notes were disclosed that Trump personally appealed to FBI Director James Comey to abandon the bureau's investigation into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to notes Comey wrote after the meeting.

Trump has been criticized for outlandish statements made on Twitter, which have gotten him into hot water with critics and mainstream US media.

"The president wasn't even aware where this information came from", he said.

Trump said in his tweets, "I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining ... to terrorism and airline flight safety". Yet U.S. allies and some members of Congress have expressed alarm. Trump's meeting with top Russian diplomats came one day after Comey's firing.

The White House has scrambled to respond to the news for the last 24 hours, at first denying the story, then arguing that Trump was "wholly appropriate" to discuss the information with the Russians. "I can not comment specifically on that", White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during an off-camera news conference.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lashed out at US politicians whipping up what he described as "anti-Russian sentiment" for being either "stupid" or "dangerous". He called her "grossly incompetent" and said her decision to transmit classified information on her personal email and private internet server disqualified her for the presidency.

Putin dismissed the USA politicians, whom he did not identify, as either being "stupid" or "dangerous and unscrupulous" who are wittingly "causing the damage to their own country".

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Striking a defiant stance, he added: "You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams".

"I think everyone quite clearly sees that the President isn't serving his staff well, and is likely not open to honest counsel", Cooper said. Adversity makes you stronger.

Backing away from a crowd of reporters, Corker gave a shrug. "And the more righteous your fight, the more opposition that you will face".

Trump is scheduled to visit Israel next week - a trip that White House officials indicated would still go ahead.

One House Republican considered vulnerable in next year's midterm elections called the "inexplicable stories" from the White House "highly troubling".

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is among those probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, called Putin's offer "quite amusing".

The House has not yet come back into session for the week, but a spokesman for Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Monday that, "We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation's secrets is paramount". The transition team was allowed to request and view classified material in secure rooms both at their government-run offices in Washington and at the White House. The official spoke only on condition that neither he nor his country be identified, because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The Post reported that the information could allow Moscow to identify the source of the intelligence, which came through a foreign government with which US spy agencies have a fragile relationship.

The White House vigorously denied it all.

Trump fired Flynn on February 13, on grounds that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russians. Mark R. Warner, a Virginia Democrat who is vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The list of Russian aggressions is long and growing.

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