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President Trump Responds to Reported Disclosures

The president responded early Tuesday morning to reports that he revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats. His defense that he has the right to share info comes after the White House sought to deny that anything inappropriate had happened. 

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Catching up on Trump Intel Stories? Five Things to Read

Comey Wrote Memo Saying Trump Urged Him to Drop Flynn Investigation: Sources (NBC News):

Fired FBI Director James Comey wrote an internal memo saying President Donald Trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of the memo told NBC News on Tuesday.

Israel Was Source of Intelligence Trump Shared With Russians (NBC News):

Israel was the source of ISIS-related intelligence that President Donald Trump shared with Russia last week, according to three government officials with knowledge of the matter.

At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls (The New York Times):

In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.

European Country Might Halt US Intel Sharing (The Associated Press):

“A senior European intelligence official tells The Associated Press that his country might stop sharing information with the United States if it confirms President Donald Trump shared classified details with Russian officials. The official said Tuesday that doing so "could be a risk for our sources.”

No, Trump Did Not Break the Law In Talking Classified Details With the Russians (Washington Post):

“When it comes to classification issues and those kinds of things, he’s not above the law,” said Edward B. MacMahon Jr., a criminal defense lawyer who has done significant work on cases involving classified information. “He basically is the law.”

Back on Senate Floor, Schumer Says 'History Is Watching'

'SABOTAGE': Trump Campaign Fundraises Off News of Comey Memos

The fundraising email, sent off the news of Trump's latest crisis, quotes adviser Steve Bannon and invites supporters to "contribute $1 to drain the swamp."

Top Dem on House Intel Committee Says 'Enough Is Enough'

Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, calls for former FBI chief James Comey to return before open sessions of House committees to testify about his dealings with President Trump.

Mike Huckabee Has a Joke About the Latest in the Trump-Comey-Russia Saga

"Enough is enough. Congress needs to get to the bottom of this," Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters moments after news broke that fired FBI Director James Comey had written a memo saying Trump had urged him to drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Schiff's statement prompted Huckabee to attempt a humorous tweet.  

Anyway, remember when Trump linked Sen. Ted Cruz's dad to JFK's assassination

Comey Wrote Memo Saying Trump Urged Him to Drop Flynn Investigation: Sources

Fired FBI Director James Comey wrote a internal memo in which he said that President Donald Trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a source close to Comey told NBC News on Tuesday.

The memo was part of a paper trail Comey built documenting what he believed to be Trump's campaign to derail the FBI's investigation of alleged Russian ties to his presidential campaign.

A second source, a former federal law enforcement official, also confirmed the existence of the memo to NBC News.

The unclassified memo was first reported by The New York Times.

- National Security Reporter Ken Dilanian, Reporter Alex Johnson, National Correspondent Peter Alexander

Democrats, Intelligence Officials Warn Trump Disclosures Put Lives At Risk

Along with potentially alienating a key U.S. intelligence gathering partner, President Donald Trump may have directly put people in danger by disclosing classified information to Russian officials during a meeting last week.  

Some Democratic lawmakers and former intelligence officials warned that, depending on what exactly Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the lives of those gathering the intel provided by Israel to the U.S. may now be at risk.

“They may have agents in the field using a sensitive collection system. They may have an electronic collection system. Whatever it is, Israel is going to be pulling it out right now because they are not going to take any chances that whoever they have that is this close to ISIS is going to survive for the next 24 hours,” Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. intelligence official, said on MSNBC on Tuesday.  

Democrats as well cautioned in broad terms that Trump’s disclosures could also put U.S. lives in danger. However, it remains largely unclear what exact information the president reportedly shared and how it would directly threaten American lives.

“Revealing classified information at this level is extremely dangerous and puts at risk the lives of Americans and those who gather intelligence for our country,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Monday.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said the information Trump divulged to the Russians was “wholly appropriate” while speaking to reporters Tuesday.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer did not confirm the intelligence came from his country, but said in a statement that Israel "has full confidence in our intelligence sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump."

- Political Reporter Andrew Rafferty

How Some GOP Senators Answered Questions on Trump Intel Report

  1. Sen. Rand Paul, while jogging away from a reporter: “No comment.”
  2. Sen. Ted Cruz: “Just call our press office — I'm headed to the health care meeting."
  3. Sen. John Hoeven: “We need to get more information on it.”
  4. Sen. Chuck Grassley: “I'm going to wait until I get a briefing, a secure briefing on it, before I make any statement on that.”
  5. Sen. Marco Rubio: “I'm not disputing it, I'm not admitting it, I just want to know more.” 
  6. Sen. Tim Scott, asked if he had an opinion outside a Senate hearing: “None.”
  7. Sen. Mitch McConnell: "I think we can do with a little less drama from the White House.”
  8. Sen. Jeff Flake: "It would be nice to have a drama-free week."

Israeli Ambassador: Nothing to See Here

Amid confirmation by NBC News and The New York Times that Israel was the source of the highly classified intelligence the president reportedly disclosed to Russian diplomats, the Israeli ambassador is out with a statement seemingly aimed at smoothing over the charged situation.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump," Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer said

Flashback: What Republicans Have Said About Mishandling Classified Info

Spoiler alert, they were not fans.