National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said late Monday that a Washington Post story alleging President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister is false, and that no intelligence sources or methods were discussed.
McMaster delivered the statement in front of the White House in response to the Post article, which claimed the president “jeopardized” the source of counterterrorism intelligence, putting at risk cooperation with an ally that has access to the “inner workings of the Islamic State.”
“At no time, at no time, were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”
“The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false,” said McMaster. “The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time, were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”
The “threats to civil aviation” appears to be a reference to the ban on laptop computers on flights from the Middle East, a ban that reportedly may be expanded to all flights from Europe.
The Post referenced “current and former U.S. officials” as its sources, and used a quote from one, who said the president had said in his May 10 meeting with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador and Sergey Lavorv, the Russian foreign minister: “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.”
Lt. Gen. McMaster said that anonymous sources should be circumspect.
“Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of state, remember the meeting the same way [I do] and have said so. Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources,” he told reporters.
“I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” he said of the allegations in the Post story.
The Post report comes just four days after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made clear in a public statement that the FBI is not investigating the president in its Russia probe.
It also comes as the House and Senate Intelligence Committees appear stalled in their efforts to show some connection between Trump associates and Russia, with key witnesses such as Roger Stone and Carter Page still not scheduled to testify.