McCain: 'Deeply Disturbing' That Trump Gave Classified Info to Russia

John McCain
John McCain / AP
May 16, 2017

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) released a statement on Tuesday lamenting President Donald Trump's decision to give Russian diplomats classified information about an Islamic State operation.

"The reports that the president shared sensitive intelligence with Russian officials are deeply disturbing," McCain said. The Arizona senator warned that disclosing classified information might "impair" allies' "willingness to share intelligence" with the United States.

McCain also criticized Trump for sharing classified information instead of addressing "Russia's aggressive behavior."

"Regrettably, the time President Trump spent sharing sensitive information with the Russians was time he did not spend focusing on Russia's aggressive behavior, including its interference in American and European elections, its illegal invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, its other destabilizing activities across Europe, and the slaughter of innocent civilians and targeting of hospitals in Syria," McCain said.

Trump released highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the Washington Post reported Monday, effectively endangering "a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State."

The president defended himself on Tuesday, tweeting that he had "the absolute right" to relay that information to Russian officials, the Washington Free Beacon reported.