Capitol Hill reacts to reports of intelligence leak at White House

FILE - In this April 25, 2017 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. McConnell downplayed the startling reports that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to a pair of Russian diplomats in the Oval Office. But a number of GOP lawmakers expressed concerns, as Democrats demanded that Republicans finally stand up to their president. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - President Trump faces yet another dilemma after reports surfaced that he released classified information garnered from an ally to the Russian government during a state visit last week.

According to reports, the information released was in reference to Islamic State militants and at the time was considered classified.

In a press conference on Tuesday, national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster stated the information Trump spoke of with the Russians was "wholly appropriate."

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill reacted swiftly to the latest controversy.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D- Fla.) said he thought "President Trump is undisciplined and we simply have to have discipline in the White House conducting foreign affairs – matters of war and peace, and matters of intelligence."

"The White House better get its act in order, or else this kind of thing will continue."

"As a former member of the intel community, you definitely don’t want to give away information, particularly for assets that we have that are human assets because then in the future they have no incentive to sign up if they think an undisciplined White House is suddenly going to spill the beans, and their life is threatened," he said.

"You know what ISIS does to people when they don’t like them. They either put them in cages and burn them, or cut off their heads."

"The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order," said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in an interview with Bloomberg. “Obviously they're in a downward spiral right now and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that's happening.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), an outspoken critic of President Trump, said if The Washington Post report was true, the president's actions were "dangerous."

“If the Washington Post report is true, it is very disturbing. Revealing classified information at this level is extremely dangerous,” said Schumer.

Sen John McCain (R-Ariz.) also took to Twitter on Monday calling the report “deeply disturbing” if true.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was already scheduled to be part of a town hall on CNN when she was asked to react to the news.

"It undermines the trust that we would have with our allies," Pelosi said. "We cannot have the President of the United States being casually loose-lipped about confirming something, even if it's in the public domain, to an adversarial nation."

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said he hoped the President would explain his decision making thoroughly.

"We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation's secrets is paramount," Ryan’s spokesperson said in a statement.

"The speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration."
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