Trump's Post-Comey Approval Ratings Unchanged, But Fallout Continues3:16
Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, during an interview outside the White House last week.
US President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister during their meeting last week, potentially jeopardising a source of intelligence about Islamic State, The Washington Post has reported, citing current and former US officials.
The newspaper said the information Trump relayed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak had been provided by a US partner through a highly sensitive intelligence-sharing arrangement.
The partner had not given the US permission to share the material with Russia.
Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies,” a US official familiar with the matter said.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said defending then-candidate Donald Trump on TV was so creepy, she felt like she needed a shower afterwards, the co-hosts of a top TV US news show have claimed.
According to The New York Post, Mika Brzezinski, who hosts MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough, said: “This is a woman, by the way, who came on our show during the campaign and would skill for Trump in extensive fashion.
“And then she would get off the air, the camera would be turned off, the microphone would be taken off and she would say, ‘Blech, I need to take a shower,’ because she disliked her candidate so much.”
“And also said, it was very interesting, also said that, ‘This is just like my summer in Europe,’” Mr Scarborough said during Monday’s show.
“‘I’ll be off this soon.’ I don’t know that she ever said, ‘I’m doing this for the money,’” Mr Scarborough said. “But she said, ‘This is just my summer vacation, my summer in Europe and basically I’m just going to get through this.’”
“‘But first I have to take a shower because it feels so dirty to be saying what I’m saying.’ I guess she’s just used to it now,” Ms Brzezinski said.
Mr Scarborough then mentioned the infamous recording of Mr Trump crudely telling Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that he could grab women “by the p***y” and get away with it because he was “a star.”
Mr Trump also boasted about hitting up a married woman, saying,“ I moved on her like a b***h, but I couldn’t get there,” according to the recording, which was made just months after he married his third wife, Melania.
Ms Conway rushed to CNN to vigorously defend her client after the Washington Post released the recording.
“That’s when she started referring to Donald Trump as—” Mr Scarborough began.
“‘My client,’” Mr Scarborough said. “Separating. ‘I don’t believe in this guy. He’s just my client. It’s just a paycheck.’”
The pair banned Ms Conway from Morning Joe in March, saying she lacked credibility after making a series of false statements to the media.
Meanwhile, US federal judges on Monday peppered a lawyer for Mr Trump with questions about whether the administration’s travel ban discriminates against Muslims and zeroed in on the president’s campaign statements, the second time in a week the rhetoric has faced judicial scrutiny.
Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, who is defending the travel ban, told a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that “over time, the president clarified that what he was talking about was Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that sponsor or shelter them.”
He argued that the executive order halting travel from six majority Muslim nations doesn’t say anything about religion, and neither the state of Hawaii nor an imam from that state who wants his mother-in-law to visit has standing to sue.
“This order is aimed at aliens abroad, who themselves don’t have constitutional rights,” Mr Wall said.
Neal Katyal, who represented Hawaii, scoffed at that argument and said Mr Trump had repeatedly spoke of a Muslim ban during the presidential campaign and after.
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The 9th Circuit panel was hearing arguments over Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging the travel ban, which would suspend the nation’s refugee program and temporarily bar new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The judges will decide whether to uphold a Hawaii judge’s decision in March that blocked the ban.
In other news, Mr Trump’s son, Barron, reportedly took his entire year five class to Washington, DC, to meet the president and tour the White House.
According to The New York Post, about 80 kids from Barron’s Manhattan school went to DC last Wednesday on a bus, accompanied by their teachers and Secret Service agents.
A source told the paper: “All the kids got dressed up. The girls were in dresses and the boys wore khaki pants and button-downs. It was so cute. They had a buffet lunch and a tour of the White House and met the president and the first lady, Melania Trump.
“President Trump gave them all a rousing speech about living up to your potential and being the best you could be for your country. Barron was really sweet. He was so excited to show his classmates around the White House.”
Also on Monday, Mr Trump met with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi at the White House.
The president welcomed Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates on Monday for their first face-to-face meeting since Mr Trump took office.
Sitting alongside one another in the Oval Office, Mr Trump called Sheikh Mohammed a “very special person” who loves his country and loves the US.
Sheikh Mohammed’s visit comes days before Mr Trump travels to fellow Arab Gulf nation, Saudi Arabia, in the first leg of his four-country foreign trip. The two leaders are expected to discuss the civil war in Syria, Iran and other topics.
Meanwhile, White House counsel Doug McGahn could be among the first to go in a staff shake-up being contemplated by Mr Trump, sources told New York Post .
A source close to Mr Trump said the president has evaluated the performance of his senior staffers on “an ongoing basis since the day he took office” and grew increasingly frustrated with several top aides last week in the midst of the fallout from his abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer struggled to explain to reporters last week why Mr Trump had suddenly fired Mr Comey after repeatedly heaping praise on the top law enforcement official during his campaign.
“Last week was a mess,” a senior White House official told The Post. “No one in the press shop was prepared for the backlash [from Comey’s firing]. And no one in the West Wing warned the president that interviews in the middle of it all might not be in his best interest.”
Sources close to the president told Axios over the weekend that Trump is watching his top strategist, Steve Bannon, and chief of staff, Reince Priebus, closely.
The two men have become unlikely allies in the White House, often urging the president to stick to his populist message and campaign promises while his daughter Ivanka and other senior staffers prod him into pursuing a more centrist political agenda.