* Once again, the entirety of “Quick Takes” will be devoted to a bombshell—this one was dropped by the Washington Post just over an hour ago:
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.
* The article goes on to talk about how members of the intelligence community are scrambling to limit the damage.
Senior White House officials appeared to recognize quickly that Trump had overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout.
Thomas P. Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, placed calls to the directors of the CIA and the NSA, services most directly involved in the intelligence-sharing arrangement with the partner.
One of Bossert’s subordinates also called for the problematic portion of Trump’s discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients, efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated further or leaked.
*Buzzfeed confirmed the story with this addition:
Two US officials who were briefed on Trump’s disclosures last week confirmed to BuzzFeed News the veracity of the Post report, with one official noting that “it’s far worse than what has already been reported.”
* Apparently the president went “off-script.”
In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” Trump said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.
* This is also worth noting:
Where we’re at: Trump is leaking to the Russians, and someone in the Oval Office with him is leaking about what he’s leaking https://t.co/W2TfvDvT24
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) May 15, 2017
* Here are a couple from the way-back machine to ensure that your irony meter gets a good work-out:
It’s simple: Individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ w/ classified info should be denied further access to it. https://t.co/XWuvfDugly
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 7, 2016
* Reactions to this news are just beginning, so I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about it tomorrow. The Washington Post makes this point that might be important to keep in mind:
For most anyone in government discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.
If true, it is hard to imagine what the appropriate response might be, but here’s a reminder for Republicans:
All along I’ve been saying that Republicans need to recognize that Trump isn’t going to get better – he’ll get worse. He just did.
— Nancy LeTourneau (@Smartypants60) May 15, 2017