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Senators call report that Trump disclosed highly classified intelligence to Russians 'appalling,' 'reckless'

Senators offered sharp reactions to reports that President Trump disclosed highly classified material to Russian officials during a recent meeting at the White House, calling the president's action, if true, "terrifying," "reckless" and "deeply disturbing"  

The Washington Post reported the disclosure late Monday just as senators were arriving for an evening vote, and many shared the information as it was unfolding.

"This conduct by the president is not only dangerous, it's reckless," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the assistant minority leader.

"That disclosure may not only jeopardize our troops and our people, but the security of those who risk their lives to tell us what is actually happening," Durbin said. "I hope that members of the president's own political party will step up at least in this instance and make it clear that this reckless conduct jeopardizes our national security."

"If true, deeply disturbing," tweeted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters he was concerned by the report.

"To compromise a source is something that you just don't do," he said. "That's why we keep the information that we get from intelligence sources so close, is to prevent that from happening."

Corker added, "Obviously they're in a downward spiral right now and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips w all that's happening."

Some Republicans declined to comment, saying they had yet to read the report. The Washington Post said Trump bragged about the quality of U.S. intelligence during a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House.

The Russians met the president the day after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey amid the ongoing U.S. investigation into the Trump campaign's possible links to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump reportedly discussed certain details with the Russians regarding an Islamic State threat involving laptops on aircraft, a disclosure that would have been illegal by lower-ranking U.S. officials.  

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said: "If it's true, it'd be troubling."

"I'm not going to speculate," said Graham. "I'm tired of speculating about Trump every five minutes."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said colleagues chatting on the chamber floor as news broke were either "astonished or appalled."

Even though the president's actions may not be illegal, he said that "no one is above the rule of law in this country."

"It is absolutely terrifying," Blumenthal said.  "It’s another example of the free press uncovering stuff that the American people should know that hopefully will cause an outcry and outrage that will have some cumulative effect in protecting our democracy."

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