North Carolina’s two U.S. senators Tuesday sought more information on President Donald Trump’s reported revelation of highly classified intelligence with Russian officials, while one N.C. Republican called it “tabloid reporting.”
Lawmakers were reacting to a report first published in the Washington Post Monday that said the president shared highly classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week. One intelligence source called it top secret “code-word” information.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Republican Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the panel “reached out to the White House to request additional information on recent reports about alleged dissemination of intelligence information.”
And GOP Sen. Thom Tillis said members of Congress “should be provided with more information from the administration about the report.”
Last year, during the FBI investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger of Charlotte said the probe “provides a strong basis for not trusting Mrs. Clinton to continue with classified intelligence briefings.”
On Tuesday he suggested the news reports about Trump were “tabloid reporting.”
“We have very serious security issues facing our country from various nation states and Islamic terrorists groups, all of whom seek our destruction,” Pittenger said. “The President and his exceptional national security team are best positioned to engage their strategy without 24 hour tabloid reporting.”
GOP Rep. Richard Hudson’s office did not respond to emails. Last year, he too was critical of Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
“As the FBI Director made crystal clear, Hillary Clinton was ‘extremely careless’ with classified information as our nation’s top diplomat and misled the American people,” Hudson said at the time. “Secretary Clinton’s gross negligence jeopardized our national security and she should be held accountable.”
Democratic Rep. Alma Adams said Tuesday that “President Trump’s decision to share code-word intelligence with the Russian ambassador is unacceptable.”
“This action is a threat to our national security, endangers diplomatic relations, and calls into question the administration’s decision making,” she said. “It’s time that Republicans and Democrats alike hold this President accountable.”