The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump divulged highly classified information during his meeting with Russian officials last week.
Officials told the Post that the information was incredibly sensitive and that its exposure endangers the relationship with an ally, which had not approved sharing the information with Russia. This ally, officials told the Post, “has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.”
CNBC could not immediately confirm the Post’s report.
Officials told the Post that Trump’s disclosure could obstruct intelligence operations by the United States and its allies.
While Trump’s release of highly classified information could seriously damage the U.S. relationship with the ally that collected the information, the president, as the Post noted, has the broad authority to declassify information.
The CIA declined to comment to the Post. The NSA did not respond to the Post’s requests for comment.
A former intelligence official told CNBC that if Trump’s reveal was unintentional, it is a demonstration of “shocking disregard or lack of understanding of classified material.” The official added that if Trump’s disclosure was intentional, it would mark a significant shift in the U.S. approach to intelligence alliances.
This story is developing. Please check back for further updates.
— NBC News and CNBC’s Eamon Javers contributed reporting.