Watch CBSN Live

Trump stands by actions following reports of divulging classified info

Trump on intel sharing

President Trump is standing by his actions after a report by the Washington Post revealed he divulged classified information to Russian officials at the White House last week.

Tweeting early Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump said he wanted to "share with Russia... facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety" which he claimed he had "the absolute right to do."

The president went on to say that he did so for "humanitarian reasons" and that he wants Russia to "greatly step up their fight against ISIS and terrorism."

Mr. Trump went on to tweet that he had been asking "Director Comey and others" from the early days of his administration to "find the leakers in the intelligence community."

The Post report, citing U.S. officials, alleged that Mr. Trump shared intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak pertaining to an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plot. The intelligence, which was given the highest level of classification, was obtained from a U.S. ally and given to the Russians without their permission.

Did Trump reveal highly-classified information to Russia?

A former intelligence official told CBS News "something inappropriate" was discussed by Mr. Trump in the meeting with Russian officials last week. The source  – who is in touch with current officials – says "details were discussed that should not have been discussed."

When asked if Tuesday morning's tweets confirmed the Post's reports, National Security Council Spokesman Mike Antoin bluntly responded, "no."

But Washington Post reporter Greg Miller says the tweets "basically confirm" the reporting on "CBS This Morning."

WashPo's Greg Miller: Trump tweets essentially confirm report on disclosure to Russia

Reaction to the report was swift across Washington, with many lawmakers questioning Trump's actions, particularly following his recent firing of FBI Director James Comey.  

White House officials however came to the president's defense, with National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster denying the reports, saying "there's nothing the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people."

While not specifically deny that sensitive information came up at Mr. Trump's meeting with Russian officials, McMaster added that "the story that came out tonight as reported is false."

Kremlin officials also supported Mr. Trump's claims, calling the reports that the U.S. president disclosed intelligence "complete nonsense."

"It's not a subject for us, it's the latest piece of nonsense. We don't want to have anything to do with this nonsense. It's complete nonsense, not a subject to be denied or confirmed," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters.

The president is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the White House Tuesday afternoon. 

View CBS News In