GOP Sen. Susan Collins demands intel briefing from White House on Trump leak to Russians
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) wants the White House to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee about President Donald Trump’s revelation of classified intelligence to Russian officials.
The Maine Republican said in a statement Tuesday that she wanted the Trump administration to clear up conflicting reports about the intelligence revealed by the president, who admitted to the action but claims an “absolute right” to share sensitive information.
“Although the President has the legal authority to disclose classified information, it would be very troubling if he did share such sensitive reporting with the Russians,” said Collins, a member of the congressional committee. “The Senate Intelligence Committee should be briefed on this important issue immediately.”
She expressed concern that Trump’s “disclosure of highly classified information has the potential to jeopardize sources and to discourage our allies from sharing future information vital to our security.”
The Washington Post reported Monday night that Trump had shared “code-word information” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during a meeting last week in the Oval Office.
National security advisor H.R. McMaster pushed back against the report shortly afterward in a carefully worded denial, but the president admitted Tuesday morning on Twitter that he’d shared the information.
Collins reacted in frustration shortly after the report came out.
“Can we have a crisis-free day?” the senator said Monday night. “That’s all I’m asking.”