Post: Trump shared classified info with Russians … Democrats head to 2020 presidential cattle call

CNN Politics:  Nightcap
May 15, 2017  |   by Eric Bradner and Daniella Diaz

Post: Trump shared classified info with Russians

The Washington Post thrust President Donald Trump‘s administration into crisis with its bombshell report tonight that, in an Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, Trump revealed highly classified information that current and former US officials told the newspaper jeopardizes a key source of intelligence on ISIS. Here’s the story from Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe.

The key paragraph: “The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.”

The White House’s denial came from national security adviser H.R. McMaster — though he didn’t directly address what the Post had reported and didn’t take any questions. “At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the President did not disclose any military operations that weren’t already publicly known,” he said. “I was in the room. It didn’t happen.”

Must-watch video: Washington Post reporter Greg Miller explains to CNN’s Erin Burnett that McMaster — rather than denying the Post’s account of what happened — actually talked around what the newspaper reported.

The White House’s credibility has eroded. From Trump’s decision to send press secretary Sean Spicer out to lambast the press over its accounts of his inauguration crowd size on his first full day in office, to the changing accounts of why Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the White House — which tried to deny the Post’s story — now faces the real cost of having lost its credibility. It’s particularly evident in the response from congressional Republicans.


“They are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening.”


— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican.


This tweet from then-candidate Donald Trump — quoting then-FBI Director James Comey — has taken on a new life tonight.


Democrats head to first cattle call of 2020 presidential race

Forty-two months from the 2020 election, Democrats are set to get their first side-by-side view of their choices to oppose President Donald Trump. A who’s-who of prospects for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination — none declared, of course, but none ruling national ambitions out, either — will appear at a daylong event hosted by the Center for American Progress. The liberal think tank’s first-ever “Ideas Conference” is poised to allow those vying to lead the party to test-drive their economic messages and arguments a year and a half before any of them would actually have to head to Iowa and New Hampshire to campaign.

Who’s speaking: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is set to deliver the lunchtime keynote, while New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will deliver the closing speech. Also on tap — and seen as potential 2020 candidates — are New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. From the executive ranks, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will open the event, while Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper are also set for speaking roles. Other leading Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, liberal megadonor Tom Steyer, Gold Star father Khizr Khan and influential activists, are slated to appear. 


4 things you might have missed today

Page cites Maroon 5 in letter to Justice Department: Former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page is asking the Department of Justice to release documents that could detail efforts undertaken by the Obama administration to surveil him — and using Maroon 5 to make his case. More from CNN’s Theodore Schleifer.

Rosenstein agrees to brief senators Thursday: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to brief the full Senate on Thursday on the firing of FBI Director James Comey. This briefing is classified, according to a GOP leadership aide, and will take place in the regular secure room in the Capitol Visitors Center. More from CNN’s Tom LoBianco and Ted Barrett.

9th Circuit presses Trump admin on legality of travel ban: For the second time in President Donald Trump‘s young administration, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals pressed the Justice Department to explain the legality of his travel ban, this time with Trump’s record of campaign calls to ban Muslims from entering the United States taking center stage. More from CNN’s Laura Jarrett.

Clinton launches a new political group: Hillary Clinton sent an email to supporters asking people to sign up for her next venture, Onward Together. More from Politico’s Anna Palmer.


Former President Barack Obama joins the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, according to two current members. … Here’s a list of candidates who interviewed at the Department of Justice to be FBI director over the weekend. … GOP Sen. Rand Paul writes in an op-ed for CNN that Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ sentencing plan would ruin lives.
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