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Franken, Klobuchar have their say on Trump intelligence sharing reports

The president is under fire amid reports he shared "codeword-classified" information.
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Donald Trump's tempestuous start to the presidency continued this week with reports that he shared "codeword-classified" intelligence with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador at a meeting last week.

The Washington Post broke the story on Monday evening, and the New York Times is now reporting on Tuesday that the president told Russia it was intelligence from Israel – an ally – that tipped off the U.S. to terrorists' plans to smuggle bombs disguised as laptops and tablets onto U.S.-bound planes.

The president confirmed in a tweet on Tuesday that he shared "facts" with his Russian visitors and both he and his national security adviser H.R. McMaster argued on Tuesday that what was said during the meeting was appropriate, even with diplomats from a country many American politicians see as an adversary.

Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar have expressed alarm at the reports, with Franken saying it once again shows the need for an independent prosecutor be appointed to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 elections.

"I believe President Trump needs to take several steps to begin fixing this. First, the White House needs to turn over any transcripts of last week’s meeting with the Russians to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Second, more than ever we need an independent, special prosecutor who can get to the bottom of the Trump team’s ties to Russia.

"And finally, President Trump needs to explain to the American people in a clear and honest way why he revealed highly classified intelligence to the Russians."

Klobuchar joined Franken in calling for a full explanation of what transpired in last week's meeting, saying that if the reports are true, it "hurts our intelligence community, undermines our relationship with allies, and could put people in real danger."

"This Administration needs to understand that Russia cannot be trusted and act accordingly."

In a press briefing on Tuesday morning, McMaster said the president wasn't aware of where the information about the terror threat came from, as he wasn't briefed on the sources or method of the information provided.

As president, Trump has the ability to declassify any information he gets, with the BBC reporting the disclosure to the Russians wasn't illegal. However, as The Atlantic notes, it could lead to strained relations with Israel – who provided the tip as part of an intelligence-sharing agreement with the U.S. – at a delicate time diplomatically between the two nations.

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