President Trump didn’t just meet with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S. in the Oval Office last week. Trump, inexplicably, also disclosed highly classified information to the Russians during the tête-à-tête. The disclosure that Trump handed over information so sensitive that the U.S. had not shared it with American allies comes via the Washington Post’s reporting and was confirmed by others. As the president, Trump has unique leeway on personally disclosing classified information that would be highly illegal for anyone else to share, but the president put in jeopardy an intelligence source with knowledge of the inner workings of ISIS and went so far as to disclose the source’s location on the ground in Syria to the Russians. It’s an astonishing move by the president—and one without a clear strategic objective other than boasting (or blackmail?)—and one that prompted an outpouring of disbelief and concern from all sides.
In the wake of the story, the Trump administration did what the Trump administration does.
*This post has been updated.