Corker: Trump White House in 'downward spiral' following Russia classified leak report

The White House is in a "downward spiral" and needs to do something to get "under control" in the wake of a bombshell report alleging Trump revealed classified information to high-ranking Russian officials, said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

During a recent White House meeting, Trump provided Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak with "highly classified information" pertaining to the Islamic State, according to a Washington Post report published Monday.

The president discussed information pertaining to ongoing efforts to defeat the Islamic State, the Post reports. The fact Trump shared the information reportedly jeopardizes a U.S. relationship with the key ally who obtained the intelligence.

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had a fiery response to the report late Monday.

"The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order. It's got to happen," Corker said, according to a Tweet from Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur.

"Obviously they're in a downward spiral right now and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips (with) all that's happening."

Corker went on, commenting on the ramifications if an intelligence source is released.

"To compromise a source is something that you just don't do," Corker said to USA TODAY. "That's why we keep the information that we get from intelligence sources so close...to prevent that from happening."

After the story broke, U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said the Post report was inaccurate.

"I was in the room, it didn’t happen," McMaster said, without providing specifics as to why the report was incorrect.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement saying the "nature of specific threats were discussed" during the meeting but the president and Russian officials did not discuss sources, methods or military options, according to USA TODAY.

The Post report quotes intelligence sources, granted anonymity, who call the president's actions "reckless" and "shocking," adding Trump shared more information with Russia than the U.S. has shared with allies.

The meeting last week with Lavrov and Kislyak already drew questions and criticism from critics before the latest report. The Trump administration barred U.S. media from the White House meeting, but allowed Russian media access to the Oval Office discussion. 

Multiple media outlets have reported the Trump administration says Russian officials misled them about their intention to distribute photographs from the meeting.

During the presidential campaign, Corker was purportedly on the short list to be vice president. After Trump won the election, Corker was also a possible nominee for U.S. secretary of state. 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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