Trump Defends “Absolute Right” to Share Information With Russian Officials

The president deviates from the White House’s narrative—again.

Shcherbak Alexander/TASS/ZUMA

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Following a Washington Post report that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats last week, Trump on Tuesday justified his “absolute right” to share information with Russian officials for “humanitarian” causes. In a pair of tweets, Trump appeared to confirm at least some elements of the explosive allegations.

Trump’s defense is a reversal of the administration’s initial denial: When the report was published on Monday, national security adviser H.R. McMaster refuted it as “false” and denied the president discussed “intelligence sources or methods” with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister. However, the Washington Post story never alleged exactly that. The report, which was later backed by independent reporting from the New York Times and BuzzFeed, cited several government sources claiming Trump revealed highly sensitive information that could potentially jeopardize an important intelligence-sharing partner.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry also denied that Trump had disclosed sensitive material during the Oval Office meeting, which was closed to American media but photographed by the Russian press.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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