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President Trump confirms, defends sharing highly classified information with the Russians

On Tuesday, President Trump took to Twitter to defend his decision to go "off script" and reveal highly classified intelligence information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a meeting last week:

Notably, Trump's top aides and his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, had directly denied the reports Monday night. "I was in the room. It didn't happen," McMaster told the press.

The president, unlike even senior administration officials, has the ability to share classified information at his own discretion. "We certainly don't want any president to leak classified information, but the president does have the right to do that," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said.

Critics of Trump's decision say that the issue is not the legality of his actions but the fact that he jeopardized a valuable espionage source by revealing the highly classified information to the Russians; the source was so sensitive that it had reportedly not been shared even with American allies.

A former U.S. official who is "close to current administration officials" told The Washington Post that Trump "seems to be very reckless and doesn't grasp the gravity of the things he's dealing with."