While the president has the authority to disclose even the most highly classified information at will, in this case he did so without consulting the ally that provided it, which threatens to jeopardise what they called a long-standing intelligence-sharing agreement, the US officials said.
That information came from another country which has a highly sensitive intelligence-sharing arrangement with the United States - one known to very few within the USA government, which is also withheld from allies.
Two former officials knowledgeable of the situation confirmed to CNN that the main points of the Post story are accurate: The President shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister.
The Post report did claim that he made the disclosures because he was boasting about the quality of American intelligence.
"Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner".
Trump is said to have described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm that an attack of that magnitude could cause.
The Washington Post cited current and former US officials who said Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador.
"It is all kind of shocking", a former senior USA official, who is close to current administration officials, told the Washington Post.
The White House declared the allegations, first reported by the Washington Post, incorrect. It potentially damages trust that's critical in these kinds of arrangements.
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"This is not the appropriate move on his part, and I just think it's part of a pattern of recklessness that we've got to get a handle on", said Sen. "I mean, this shows a complete lack of information about what classified information is and how important". "It is really frightening for our people, especially the people who managed the relationship in getting the information". He's questioned the competence of intelligence officials, challenged their assessment that Russian Federation meddled in last year's election to help him win, and accused them of leaking information about him and his associates.
The visit was fraught with bad optics, and Kislyak's attendance - only confirmed by photos from Russian state media - was especially notable because he has been at the center of numerous Trump administration's controversies involving Russia.
But some of the European partners Trump will meet later in his trip have been more skeptical about his policies, including a controversial travel and immigration ban that's been blocked by US courts.
"If this is true, the president should explain to the American people why he divulged classified information to the Putin regime". Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from any involvement in the FBI's investigations into Russia after it was revealed that he twice met with Kislyak, despite testifying during his confirmation hearing that he had had no contact with Russian officials. He's set to depart on Friday, traveling to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, then attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels, Belgium, and a G7 meeting in Italy.
The White House also released a statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said the Oval Office meeting focused on counterterrorism, and from deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, who called the Washington Post story false.
"At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed", Mr McMaster said.
McMaster says: "I was in the room.it didn't happen". The report notes that Trump disclosed the information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.
"During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations", Mr Tillerson said. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said of the Trump administration. The outlet also reported that other members have said they did not get a briefing.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: "If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community". He added that he wants the House intelligence committee fully briefed on what, if anything, was shared with the Russian officials. "Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians".
The meeting came a day after that firing, and was already controversial in itself, a red carpet welcome for top aides of Vladimir Putin just months after being hit with U.S. sanctions for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.