- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Responding to accusations that he divulged classified information to Moscow, President Trump said Tuesday his meeting with Russian officials last week was “very successful” in helping to build partners to fight terrorism.

“We had a very, very successful meeting with the foreign minister of Russia,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re going to have a lot of great success over the coming years.”

The president didn’t directly address a published report that he shared highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week. But Mr. Trump said on Twitter Tuesday that he had every right to share information that he believes will bolster U.S. national security.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reiterated Tuesday that Mr. Trump didn’t put national security at risk in a discussion with Russian diplomats last week about new threats posed by the Islamic State.

“The president in no way compromised sources or methods,” Mr. McMaster told reporters. “What the president shared was wholly appropriate.”

He said Mr. Trump didn’t even know where the information in question came from.

Mr. McMaster was referring to a published report that accused Mr. Trump of revealing highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister in a White House meeting. He again called the report “false.”

“I stand by my statement,” he said.

The president’s national security adviser said the “real issue” is leaks in the administration to the media, and said those leaks should be investigated.

“Our national security has been put at risk by those violating confidentiality,” he said. “I think national security is put at risk by this leak and leaks like this.”

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