The White House has been rocked by controversies under the administration of President Donald Trump, ranging from Trump’s attack on Syrian bases and Russia’s involvement in the presidential election campaign to the recent firing of former FBI Director James Comey for his on-going investigation into the President himself.
But then Trump trumped his own imprudence shortly afterwards. A day after Trump sacked Director Comey, the President met with Russian officials at the Oval Office. It is alleged that he disclosed highly sensitive and classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This information pertains to the terrorist group ISIS/ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), also known as the Islamic State.
It was said to be sourced from a US-ally in the American war on terror, focusing on the fight against the hardline Islamic State. However, the ally had not permitted USA to share the information with any other third party, inadvertently threatening the relationship between the US and the aforementioned ally. This move also threatens any possible future co-operation from the ally as well as its internal operations into Islamic State.
The information conveyed to Moscow is said to be so sensitive that it was communicated through a special intelligence-sharing arrangement, and that even many US government officials and other allies were kept out of the loop. Many have guessed this confederate to be Israel. Israel, on the other hand, had no comments to make on the matter.
When news of this serious breach of confidentiality was first reported by The Washington Post on May 15th, White House officials vehemently denied the allegations. They claimed that only matters of security that concerned both the countries were discussed and nothing more. But just a day after this series of allegations shook the foundations of trust in the people, President Trump tweeted that he had indeed shared information with the two Russian officers. In a series of tweets, he defended his right to share “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety” with Russia.
That is not to say that these facts actually contained any classified or sensitive information about IS. Meanwhile, Russia has dismissed this report as “yet another fake”. With Trump’s popularity already plummeting worldwide and in the US, such alleged reckless moves are highly disconcerting. People can’t help but question his discretion and decision-making faculties.
P.S. Despite Trump’s objections, a special prosecutor has been appointed in the Russian investigation by deputy attorney General Rosenstein, which, Mr Trump calls the biggest witch Hunt ever!