Democratic Indiana lawmakers are calling on the Trump administration to provide more details about reports that President Donald Trump shared classified information with Russian officials, as NPR reports:
The Washington Post broke the news Monday night, and others confirmed and added to the reporting, that Trump revealed to Russian officials in a meeting in the Oval Office details of an ISIS plot to use laptops on airplanes. The information was classified and reportedly came from an ally in the Middle East. NPR has not confirmed the details of the reports.
Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana’s 7th district is a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
“I expect to be told what information was shared, where it came from, and how it might impact our vital intelligence partnerships around the world,” Carson said in a statement. “Through his recklessness, the President may have undone a critical intelligence partnership, destroyed a key source of intelligence in the fight against ISIS, and jeopardized the security of the American people.”
Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana’s 3rd district is urging fellow lawmakers “to move past the news frenzy of the day and focus on what matters.”
“President Trump has the authority to disclose intelligence information but the implications of sharing sensitive material must be carefully considered,” Banks said in a statement. “I continue to urge the President and his administration to refrain from pursuing cooperation with Russia at the expense of our allies and national security.”
Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly says the White House needs to “get its act together.”
“This information should never have been shared with the Russians or anyone else without the okay of whoever shared it with us,” Donnelly said in a Tweeted statement. “Lives on the the line in the fight against ISIS and other extremist adversaries. This isn’t a game.”
Former Democratic Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton says the country should be alarmed by Trump’s actions.
Hamilton says allies could lose confidence in the U.S. and hold back classified information in the future.
“Congress should be screaming about this,” Hamilton says. “Congress has an obligation as a supposedly co-equal branch of government to protect the national security of the United States.”
Hamilton says Congress should take steps to make sure similar leaks of classified information don’t happen again.
“The best response is to tighten up the ship,” Hamilton says. “It is to make sure a president, who is leaving on a foreign trip this weekend, is very well-briefed before going into the meetings, is alerted to the possibility that he must not share certain information.”
Hamilton says the meeting between Trump, the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador was a recipe for trouble because the Russian officials have decades of experience as diplomats, while Trump’s first job in government is as president.