National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Tuesday adamantly defended President Trump’s conversations with Russian officials as “wholly appropriate,” pushing back for a second day on a news report claiming the president revealed highly classified information on an Islamic State terror threat during that meeting.
During a tense White House briefing, McMaster also ripped the leaks fueling such media reports – and said the president was not “even aware” of the source of the information he apparently shared with the Russians.
“He wasn’t briefed on the source and method of the information,” McMaster said.
McMaster’s central contention was that the details discussed in that meeting concerned ongoing operations that were public for months and information available in “open source reporting.”
“The president in no way compromised any sources or methods in the course of this conversation,” McMaster said.
The same official publicly had refuted The Washington Post report on Monday evening, describing the claims as false.
The president himself has since acknowledged he shared “facts” about the terror threat with Russia, while saying he was in his right to do so.
Trump spoke briefly about the controversy Tuesday in between meetings with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He said he had a “very, very successful meeting” with the Russian foreign minister earlier this month, and the U.S. wants to get as much help as possible…