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24 June 2017
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Trump defends 'absolute right' to share 'facts' with Russia - BBC

U.S. President Donald Trump has defended his "absolute right" to share information with Russia, following a row over classified material, BBC wrote.

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Donald Trump tweeted that he had shared "facts pertaining to terrorism and airline safety" and wanted Russia to do more against so-called Islamic State, according to BBC News.

U.S. media said Trump had shared with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as he met him in the Oval Office last week the material that was passed on by a partner which had not given permission.

A report in the Washington Post said Mr Trump had confided top secret information relating to an IS plot thought to centre on the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

Reuters: Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russians in Oval OfficeIn his tweets early on Tuesday, Mr Trump said: "As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.

"Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against [IS] & terrorism."

It is not clear if Mr Trump was acknowledging having shared intelligence secrets with the Russian officials, thus contradicting White House statements, or whether he was simply trying to explain what had been discussed.

The BBC's Anthony Zurcher in Washington says this was a carefully constructed defence of the meeting, in which President Trump frames any revelation of intelligence information as a calculated move to advance US national security priorities.

Trump received Lavrov on Putin’s personal requestAfter all, the controversy that swirled around the White House on Monday night was never legal, it was political, and this defence may be enough for Republicans to rally around, he adds.

Tags: Trump, Lavrov, leak, intel

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