McMaster: Trump Didn't Even Know Where Intel Came From; His Disclosure Was Appropriate

Tyler Durden's picture

Speaking to repoters on Tuesday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said President Trump did not put intelligence assets in jeopardy by revealing highly sensitive information to Russian officials, adding that Trump did not know where the intel came from and that the conversation in the Oval Office last week was “wholly appropriate.”

“I stand by my statement that I made yesterday,” McMaster said. “What I’m saying is that the premise of that article was false" and that “what the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate for that conversation.” He did however refused to describe what Trump told the Russian diplomats, or acknowledge that classified information was shared with them.

“I’m not concerned at all” that U.S. allies might stop sharing intelligence after Trump’s disclosure, he added.

McMaster said Trump could not have endangered national security because he did not even know the source of the information he discussed. "The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from" as "he wasn’t briefed on the source."

"The president in no way undermined sources or methods in the course of this conversation,” he also said adding that the information could be found in "open-source reporting."

“At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known,” he said.

While McMaster did not deny that Trump discussed highly classified information during the May 10 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow's U.S. ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, he attacked leakers who revealed the contents of the discussion to media outlets, saying that was the story that should be getting more attention.  

He echoed Trump in blaming leakers within the government for any breach of security. “The premise of that article was false” McMaster, who was present at last week’s meeting, told reporters at a briefing.

“The premise of that article was false” McMaster saod. “The really issue is our national security has been put at risk by those violating confidentiality and releasing information to the press.” "I think national security is put at risk by this leak and leaks like this." McMaster also hinted that the administration would conduct a broader investigation into the leaks that led to the reports. "It’s incumbent on all of us to bring in the people with the right mandate and the right authorities to take a look at how this leak occurred and how other breaches may have occurred as well," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump claimed an “absolute right” to share information about terrorism with Russian officials, even as some lawmakers in both parties expressed alarm over the reports. “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” Trump said in a series of tweets on Tuesday. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

Democrats, and even some Republicans lambasted Trump's revelation, saying it could put sources at risk and alienate key intelligence-sharing partners. Several lawmakers have called on the administration to release transcripts of the conversation to clear up confusion about it.

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Killtruck's picture

We're talking about the President of the United States of America, right? Leader of the Free World?

How the fuck is this a thing? Seth Rich. That's how. "Look over here at the Russians!" If the Seth Rich case gets worked, everyone goes down. 


froze25's picture

Lets not forget Hillary's manager Podesta being a Pedophile. Who knows who else is connected. WEll the NY PD knows and so does the FBI they have Huma's laptop data.

Pinto Currency's picture

McMaster Exposed As White House Leaker

McMaster is a Patreus lackey fraud.

FrozenGoodz's picture

Always get your lie straight before the parents come home kids ... 

barndoor's picture

Best possible excuse - there was no disclosure AND the disclosure was entirely appropriate....

barndoor's picture

It pretty amazing how quickly we went from "It didn't happen" to "The premise of the article was false".  

AltRight Girl's picture

Ok so it came from the kikestani Mossad service.

Than means it was BS. They get desperate for seeing Russia killing all their assets in Syria, while Trump lets them.

ISISrael Gets Desperate: “Time to Assassinate Syrian President Assad and His Allies in Iran”

FrozenGoodz's picture

WH steps to dealing w/ crisis:

1) It didn't happen

2) Trump tweets about it

3) It happened but no big deal

4) No further questions

Mr. Bones's picture

Both are possible, at the same time, with even more moving parts that you likely haven't considered.

An additional possibility is that the anonymous source, by disclosing this made it clear that an ally had a capability and that we are aware of that capability and privvy to its content.

If we have knowledge of some correspondence that was intended to be secret but was disclosed publicly through no action on our part - but some trusted individual publicizes the heretofore unknown fact above - is Trump wrong for disclosing a public but obscure fact or is the leaker and the media guilty of interfering in both our diplomatic and intelligence gathering capabilities?

natxlaw's picture

Look, the David Brock trolls are voting you down!

Sandmann's picture

"Leader of the Free World"??  In your dreams

froze25's picture

And we all agree that Saudi Arabia being the Head of Human rights at the UN is the best choice for the job.

jimmy12345's picture

Trump is working for ISIS and Russia

baghead's picture

There is a MOAB with your name on it.

yomutti2's picture

Trump's not working for Russia, but he is a moron.


Bubba Rum Das's picture

Jimmmmah! Jimmmmah! Jimmmmah!

Go back to South Park Jimmmmah!, Nigguh; Pleeease...!

Demologos's picture

So says Jimmy 4 Weeks ... real imagination with your name by the way. Do you use Podesta's secret squirrel password too? Go piss up a rope.

Got The Wrong No's picture

jimmy is a paid Soros/Obama Stooge. He already has a new poster ID pending in the waiting period. 

SRV's picture

So this is where JimiComet's been hiding... doing contract work for Hillary!

consider me gone's picture

Can you share the name and number of your dealer. I haven't had any good weed in a coons age.

Creative_Destruct's picture

4 week troll. Gotta do better than that if you wanna get paid.

swmnguy's picture

My concern is the White House's horseshit communications and media relations.  What the hell happened?  Trump got to where he is because he understands contemporary mass media in America like very few people.  Since the Inauguration, however, it's been a never-ending stream of stumblefuckery.  It's as if after manipulating the media for 40 years, and then using them alternately as a punching bag, sock puppet and bullhorn throughout the campaign, Trump thought the media would never examine a single thing he or his team said?  Did he slip in the tub and hit his head?

And of all the people to let the GOP saddle you with, Priebus and, it seems, Spicer.  The Press Secretary is an incredibly hard job.  It requires building working relationships on a day to day basis with people you probably despise and who usually despise you.  It's not necessarily a partisan job; it's a professional job.  That is, there is a large and deep pool of people who do this sort of thing as a profession.  Why Trump couldn't find one of those people whom he can trust, and actually delegate and communicate to that person, and turn them loose, is beyond me.  Instead, he continually undermines them, contradicts them, has multiple people sending out multiple messages; it looks completely half-assed, disorganized, and like there's nobody in charge.

Why is McMaster trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube here?  McMaster and Dina Powell already told their side of the [non-]story yesterday, and Trump had to go and contradict them last night.  So now McMaster has to take the beating today, trying to square the circle between his declaration last night that none of this happened at all, and now saying actually yes it did happen but it was perfectly OK, after Trump hung him out to dry?

Who's in charge?  Are they talking to one another?  Is there somebody whose job it is to make sure anybody who talks to the press has their story straight?

That's the issue here.

And, leading contender for non-surprise of the year, Seth Rich sent the goods to WikiLeaks and got whacked.  As if anybody on ZH, or anyone who pays attention to this stuff, didn't already have a fairly shrewd guess at that one.

pods's picture

I appreciate the synopsis. I cannot (won't) spend much time keeping up with this stuff anymore, so I thank you for distilling this for those of us who can't (or won't) spend the time doing so. 

To me it sounds like everytime Orange Jesus gets a great idea he tweets it out there. Then his staff has to try and defend that while OJ is typing out his next tweet that undercuts them.  If this is the case I would think that soon you will see more "former Trump team" members.

I'm sure that this is just some 8th degree inter-dimensional chess being played, but to the lay person, it sounds like chaos.


Temporalist's picture

"I'm sure that this is just some 8th degree inter-dimensional chess being played, but to the lay person, it sounds like chaos."

Or it's just disgutsting, putrid, rotten, filthy, diseased humanity sitting with it's pussy festering colon on all our collective faces.

You're probably right.


swmnguy's picture

"Temporalist," "pods": I've gotten interested in this shit-show.  It's so bad it's caught my attention.  Every so often something catches my full attention in the media and I have to read every account of it I can.  It's fascinating what one can pick up, doing that.

The matter itself doesn't have to be very interesting, really.  There has to be some element to it that throws everybody for a loop, and they're revealed being themselves, caught outside the usual mundane ritual.  In this case, it's Trump's conduct, which is so different from the standard in politics or any sort of public affairs these days.  Now with the Comey leak news, this one's got it all.

Yeah, it's an exercise in masochism, but just to read all the stories is incredibly revealing.  What details are chosen and decided against.  The choice of adjectives and, especially, adverbs.  It's kinda dorky but once in a while something really shocking pops out.

I suspect this is neither the chess thingy nor chaos.  I think this has the potential to be actual Classical Tragedy, where the protagonist is utterly undone by his own flaws.  Anyone else, and probably everyone else, could see how these pitfalls could and should have been avoided.  However, nobody else is in the protagonist's position, are they.  And the protagonist only got into the position by being who he is; but now that he has reached his heights that same personality that got him there will cause it all to sift through his fingers.  It's horrible, and uniquely human, and we almost never in our lifetimes get to really see it play out in front of us, in public, on a grand scale.

pro ven's picture

The leader of the free world does not even know where his intel comes from, imagine...!

He has choosen security advisers who confirm this, they do not inform him about intel because what...?

He just talks from ^open sources^...FOX??

Anyhow he can not be a threat for the security, becaue they do not inform, no need to have leaks or even to listen what he talks about.

What a joke, i would be very happy with such an adviser and would ask or he has more of them, so i was never informed about anything.

The theatre gets more a feeling of a circus, here come the first comedian of the world, tatatata, hoora!

This is probably ment by the `orange revolution`

Cheers, no pop corn needed



Forever Seeking's picture

So the National Security Advisor failed to fully brief the President of the United States, allowed him to share information at a meeting where McMaster was present, and he admitted it to the world. McMasters is a Trojan Horse.

headhunt's picture

Sorry Nancy Pelosi, we know this comment was made by you...

Got The Wrong No's picture

Yes, the shit show is being put on by Paid trolls. 90% of them have multiple ID's and have only been ZH posters since the election and after ZH was put on the Fake News List by the Fake News. You fool no one. 

Bytor325's picture

IIRC, Obama used to find out about shit like this just like you and me.  How many times did the Brown Clown get up to the podium and say " i found out about it when i saw it in the paper today"

natxlaw's picture

You are correct. McMasters is most likely the source of the original leak. He knows he is on the way out and this was his desperate attempt to create a crisis that he could then resolve. The neocon/Bezos WaPo is of course helping him out.

froze25's picture

I don't care what he told the Russians, we should be working with them instead of threatening them with annihilation at every chance. If Hillary and McCain had it their way we would be in a Nuclear winter already.

SoDamnMad's picture

An the alledged source is Israel. USS LIberty, 9/11 dancing Israelis, $3+billion a year aid, gas from Leviathan gas fields going across Syria to Europe.

You know, our ally who we can trust.

justin423's picture

Dont 't get on an airplane in the near future. You better care what he told the Russians.

The intelligence was an explosives recipe was devised that could be put into laptops that would get past explosive sniffers and fool explosives detecting dogs and that the Israelis were busy detailing procedures to detect it.

NSA confirmed within hours that communication intercepts proved that the intelligence had gotten back to ISIS and that they were reformulating the recipe.



Sandmann's picture

They want to declare the President illegitimate but cannot in view of his democratic election so they declare his actions illegitimate and his authority illegitimate.

It is what caused Yeltsin to send tanks to shell the Duma in 1993

IridiumRebel's picture

Yes but what about the democrats ordering a hit, via Podesta, to kill a leaker? in murder?

roadhazard's picture

That Trump didn't know where the info came from makes me feel so much better... heh, if thats the best answer they can come up with then it's pretty sad.

Bill of Rights's picture

Would you prefer he stutter like the previous asshole

Harry Lightning's picture

You obviously have never held positions of authority and responsibility in any large organization. You would not have made your comment if you had.

Just a simple example...when Steve Jobs used to get up at Mac World to show off new products from Apple, do you think he knew what development groups have built the various parts of the software that went into the final product ? The answer is no, because a CEO usually does not need to know that kind of granularoty about the process. He might ask wich teams were responsible, and if something goes wrong with the product he most certainly would ask such a question. But as a matter of sop, the top guy wants the elevator pitch, not the full itinerary.

FrozenGoodz's picture

Lol ya'll could find a way to defend his beheading of Daffy Duck

Harry Lightning's picture

Who was Daffy Duck ? Aside from the cartoon character. I am not defending him, if he did something wrong he would deserve to be chastized. But not knowing the source of intel is not unusual for a President, I am certain that obama couldn't even remember the intel, nevermind even ask about the source. 

Got The Wrong No's picture

The 3 Paid Soros/Obama Stooges are fumbling the ball as usual. Your Fairy Tail talking points keep crashing down around you. Yet, like the good Paid Pukes you are, you pretend that you have the high ground. It must be sad to have to be a tool for a living. I bet you don't even believe the vomit you spew. 

swmnguy's picture

Bad example.  Steve Jobs would absolutely have known who developed and built what.  Of all people.

And most CEO's actually have a damn good idea what they're talking about and where the information comes from, before they say it.  If they ever get something as wrong as seems to be routine in this White House, they can the person who gave them the info, tout de suite.  As in, immediately, no questions asked.

The whole theme of Trump as CEO doesn't really hold water.  Trump's not a politician, that's for sure, but he's never been a conventional CEO, either.  If he hadn't inherited a large, complex and robust business operation, he wouldn't have gotten to be head of one.  He's not wired that way.  His attention to detail is atrocious.  He doesn't adhere to processes.  He seems incredibly intellectually undisciplined.  His communication is wildly inconsistent.  You couldn't describe the CEO of any other major operation in those terms.

Yes, the CEO wants the elevator pitch, not the full itinerary.  But he has the full itinerary at his fingertips.  He also has the guy who wrote the itinerary right there.  And he has a full team of people who manage messaging and communication, so everything people say has been vetted and is consistent, and most of all, doesn't contradict what they just said yesterday.

Harry Lightning's picture

Yes, you're correct about Trump's lack of attention to detail. And yes it is true that all the minutiae that any President or CEO wants to know is there at his fingertips. But neither of those points are germain to the topic at hand. 

The poster wanted to chastise Trump because according to Trump's national security advisor, Trump did not know the source of intel that was discussed in the meeting with the Russians. And I simply responded that it was the rule rather than the exception for CEOs to not know all the details about the topics that cross their desks, and as such, there was no reason to chastise Trump for this. 

I built three of the most widely used trading platforms in the financial industry, for industry leading names you are sure to know. I was involved with every step of the development. The people to whom I reported, very senior level management,  did not care nor did they ever ask about what office did the front end dev work, what office did the database work, what office did the Q&A. They simply wanted to know what the product did and why it was good for our customers. 

For a President of the United States, especially one who is not all that committed to details as Trump, I think he has no desire to know all the details associated with the intel he is told about. As such, his National Security Adviser was telling the truth and there was no reason to give Trump a hard time over it.

I knew people in the New York City construction industry during my career, including a Chief Counsel for one of the largest general contractors and several other leading interior design people. They knew and did work with Trump. By all reports, he is a really sharpp guy, some say he's even brilliant. Which is why he may give the impression of being allof and uninvolved, because he processes info at a different rate of speed than others. 

Regarding whether he made his way relative to it being given to him, I agree with you that he started with a really good advantage. Not hard to succeed in the 1970s when you have a $40 million company backing you. But to his credit, he did have some really excellent insight in taking his dad's residential apartment building company into the much more difficult and risky commercial real estate arena. What he did to put the Grand Hyatt deal together and then build it in the mid-1970s was really phenomenal. It led to a re-vitalization of the entire City. His concept of branding buildings with his name was not very popular at the time, but it became a brilliant business move because he was able to use the goodwill value of that branding as collateral to support construction loans and property mortgages. No one ever had done that before Trump.

Sure, he took some beatings in Atlantic City, but that was a very risky business to begin with that was made all the worse when the State of New Jersey failed to develop the Atlantic City area as they had promised to do when gambling was approced for AC in the early 1970's. Trump did a lot better and lasted a lot longer in AC than most thought he would, cosnidering the kind of money he threw into his ventures there. Real estate development is a really hard business, so to even have had half the success Trump had in that business is quite an accoomplishment that should not be brushed aside as cavalierly as you did in your post.

swmnguy's picture

I don't think I said, and I certainly didn't mean to imply, that Trump's success is not worth acknowledging.  Plenty of people have inherited the foundation of a solid business, and done nothing with it.  Nobody with any sense would say anything like that about Trump.

What I did mean was that Trump is not a conventional CEO, coming up through a conventional US corporation.  I don't think he would have made it through that process.  It's a brutal, cut-throat process that oftentimes weeds out the truly creative thinkers.  If you've done what you say, and I have no reason to think you haven't, you've met a few large-corporation CEO types.  They're not much like Trump.  Most of them don't have Trump's most interesting traits, and he shows very little evidence of having their learned behaviors and skills.

I'll grant you it's not essential that Trump know the derivation of all the intel he gets.  In fact, it may not be a very good idea, as undisciplined as he can be with what he says.  But I bet if anything had gone seriously pear-shaped with your trading platforms, Top Men would have known who to find, and where to find you, immediately.

And I have no doubt the firms you were working for had a more-professional public relations team than the group of stumblebums in the White House right now.  If President Trump is going to get anything done he has to replace them all with actual PR professionals right this minute.