Jake Tapper witheringly pokes holes in H.R. McMaster's definition of 'wholly appropriate'

Jake Tapper.
(Image credit: Screenshot/Twitter/CNN)

CNN's Jake Tapper isn't buying National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's claim that President Trump's reveal to Russian officials was "wholly appropriate." Hours after McMaster claimed at a press briefing Tuesday that it was not necessarily problematic that Trump had disclosed classified information during a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Tapper told a much different story.

Tapper recalled that the government had explicitly warned CNN in March that revealing "certain details about the threat, including the city from which some of the intelligence was collected" — in other words, the very information Trump apparently revealed to Russian officials — could pose a huge risk. "By reporting the city's name, Trump administration officials insisted, that would tip off American adversaries about sources and methods used to gather the intelligence," Tapper said. "It would, they insisted, get people killed."

CNN did not report the information, but Tapper said CNN has since confirmed that Trump did reveal it to Lavrov and Kislyak. Returning to McMaster's claim that Trump's reveal was "wholly appropriate," Tapper asked: "Again, this is the same city that intelligence officials say, 'If we told it to you right now, it would get people killed,' but somehow we are simultaneously supposed to believe that President Trump sharing this information — the city and more — with a U.S. adversary — Russia — is, quote, 'wholly appropriate'?"

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Watch Tapper's interrogation of McMaster's claim below. Becca Stanek

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