On the 117th day of the Donald Trump presidency, a stunning report claims the president may have revealed highly classified information to Russia. The Washington Post broke the story.
Its sources allege the president revealed intelligence about ISIS developing bombs in laptop computers.
The details are reportedly so secret that even close American allies did not know about them.
The president reportedly revealed the classified information during last week's Oval Office meeting with Russia's foreign minister and its U.S. ambassador.
White House officials reject the Post story, but they do not specifically deny that sensitive information came up at the meeting.
Despite White House denials, sources tell CBS News "something inappropriate" was discussed. The incident was so serious that White House officials reportedly rushed to warn the CIA and NSA to contain the damage, reports CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.
The administration was quick to respond to what they say is a false report.
"The story that came out tonight as reported is false,"on Monday evening.
In a carefully worded response, National Security Adviser McMaster defended his boss's conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the.
"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," McMaster said.
However, McMaster's statement did not address allegations in the Washington Post that the president "went off script and began describing details about an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft."
That classified information reportedly came from a U.S. partner and was so sensitive that it had not been shared with U.S. allies and was even restricted within the U.S. government.
According to an intelligence official, the information concerns an aviation threat from ISIS, and the mixture of an explosive material to be used in a possible laptop bomb. The source says the Russians did not have this information.
"I was in the room, it didn't happen," McMaster said.
According to McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and senior White House official Dina Powell were also present during the meeting, but American reporters were barred, with the only pictures provided by Russian state media.
In paper statements, Tillerson doubled down on McMaster's denial and Powell said "this story is false."
"Their on the record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources," McMaster said.
The meeting at the White House took place just one day after the president fired FBI Director James Comey who was leading the investigation into whether Trump campaign associates were coordinating with the Russians during the election.
Russian Ambassador Kislyak remains a central figure in that investigation.
The standard for disclosing classified information is different for a president and what Mr. Trump is accused of doing is not illegal. For anyone else it would be.
Disclosing that type of information is dangerous because it could give the Russian government information about America's sources and methods, which could put lives at risk.
Tuesday morning, Russian officials said reports that Mr. Trump gave away secret information are "fake."