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Democrats lash out at Trump over reports he shared ‘highly classified’ intel with Russia
After news broke that President Donald Trump reportedly shared ‘highly classified’ info with Russian officials, lawmakers were quick to criticize him.
Shortly after news broke that President Donald Trump reportedly shared “highly classified” information with Russian officials during a White House meeting last week, Democratic lawmakers were quick to criticize the revelation—and some had pretty blunt reactions.
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) went on a tweetstorm that could rival Trump’s on Monday evening, shooting of several messages that were highly critical of Trump’s apparent sharing of secret information pertaining to the Islamic State.
Heinrich’s series of tweets started fairly snarky.
Protip: Don’t give the Russians classified information. #Classified101— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) May 15, 2017
But it got more biting from there, with a corresponding news article accompanying nearly every tweet.
The New Mexico senator followed up that Trump “continues to display a disturbing pattern of recklessness,” adding that the pattern included “Letting [former National Security Adviser Micahel Flynn] have access to classified information for weeks after being told Flynn was compromised by the Russians.”
Flynn resigned after the Washington Post revealed he’d been untruthful with Vice President Mike Pence regarding his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who was also present for the meeting with Trump.
Heinrich also tweeted about the president discussing North Korea’s missile launch at Mar-a-Lago, claiming the CIA was “hacked,” and allowing Russia’s state-run media into the Oval Office with cameras and electronic equipment.
Heinrich ended the tweetstorm with a meme-worthy tweet:
“And then I criticized her for using a personal email server!” pic.twitter.com/IgAjGYsp7p— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) May 15, 2017
Heinrich was not, of course, the only senator commenting on Trump’s apparent sharing of classified information.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Trump’s sharing of classified information “a slap in the face to the intel community.
If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community. Risking sources & methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians. https://t.co/CRiSC024F7— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) May 15, 2017
Meanwhile, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) pointed out what a lot people are probably thinking.
For a President who complains so much about leaks, this is stunning https://t.co/H6lJvBY2Fm— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) May 15, 2017
Former vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine called the news “unsurprising.”
Shocking actions for any American President but sadly unsurprising coming from President Trump. https://t.co/yPgycqLyda— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) May 15, 2017
Sen. Ron Wyden said the news was of the “gravest possible concern.”
This kind of disclosure could harm national security by jeopardizing important sources of information needed to disrupt terrorist attacks.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) May 15, 2017
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-M.D.) called Trump’s actions “very dangerous,” and followed up by commenting “Well…” above a tweet from Trump asking for the FBI to start looking into the leaking of classified information.
Very dangerous—compromising critical sources only helps our enemies and hurts our allies. https://t.co/gXIVQkzPg5— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) May 15, 2017
Similarly, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked for Republicans to “put country before party” in light of the breaking news.
This is dangerous and reckless. GOP must put country before party and demand an independent investigation and special prosecutor now. https://t.co/MskFZ0ZP9k— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) May 15, 2017
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also weighed in, saying Trump is “failing” at protecting national security.
Protecting our national security is one of the most important tasks a president has, and Trump is failing at it. https://t.co/3hr9htzmZ2— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 15, 2017
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) also seemed to think national security was at risk.
If true, this is a serious threat to national security. https://t.co/ms8vE52PhK— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 15, 2017
As for Republicans, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) didn’t post anything specific on Twitter, but did re-tweet several reports of him reacting to the news.
.@LindseyGrahamSC on WaPo report: "I have no idea if it's true. If it is, it would be very troubling. I'm not going to comment any further."— Emma Dumain (@Emma_Dumain) May 15, 2017
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) appeared to be less alarmed, at least initially.
McCain just saw WP: "We certainly don't want any president to leak classified information but the president does have the right to do that."— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) May 15, 2017
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).