Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is joining a wave of national criticism for President Donald Trump’s alleged sharing of highly classified information with Russian officials during a White House meeting last week. The Washington Post first reported the story Monday evening. President Trump reportedly described details of an Islamic State threat while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
In a statement, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said the allegations could lead to distrust from U.S. allies. “If our allies and partners don’t trust us with critical information because our President can’t protect their secrets, it can be a matter of life and death,” said Whitehouse, who sits on the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. The Committee recently held hearings looking into Russian interference with the U.S. election.
“The President’s inexperience is no excuse for being irresponsible,” said Sen. Jack Reed in his statement. Reed is the ranking Democrat on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee.
Reed acknowledged President Trump can share classified information with whom he deems appropriate, but added Americans expect him to use that power wisely.
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin said the news comes at a troubling time, following the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey who was looking into collusion allegations between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.