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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 22, 2017

Elected officials react to disclosures

By Ed Tibbitst, Quad-City Times | May 17, 2017

DAVENPORT - The report that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials last week drew condemnation from Democrats on Tuesday, as they renewed their call for a special prosecutor.

However, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, while saying he hadn’t been briefed on the matter himself, pointed to the administration’s defense of the president and said Congress’ intelligence committees are best suited to look into the matter.

The Washington Post reported Monday night Trump revealed classified information to top Russian diplomatic officials in a meeting at the White House last week.

It surfaced Monday afternoon and occupied much of official Washington on Tuesday.

“Russia is not our friend, yet President Trump seems extraordinarily comfortable inviting Russian agents into the Oval Office and sharing with them highly classified intelligence that’s too sensitive to even share with our allies,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, said.

She and U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, called for a special counsel to look into Trump ties to Russia. Meanwhile, Bustos and Loebsack said the revelations are focusing attention on “national security risks,” as Loebsack put it, rather than on the economy.

“This latest international incident underscores the importance of having a truly independent investigation led by a special prosecutor to uncover the full extent of President Trump’s ties to the Putin regime,” Bustos said Tuesday.

 

Grassley said he didn’t know himself whether the disclosures were problematic. But he pointed to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster’s defense of the revelations and noted the president has “the authority to declassify and share information he deems necessary in the interest of our national security.”

 

McMaster said the president’s remarks to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister last week were “wholly appropriate.”

 

A spokesperson for Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said: “Senator Ernst has questions about what information was shared and hopes to learn more from the administration soon. As she has made clear, Russia is not our friend, and the U.S. must be extremely cautious in our engagement with them.”

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