But then Trump seemingly admitted sharing information, tweeting Tuesday: "As President I wanted to share with Russian Federation. which I have the absolute right to do". "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism", Trump tweeted Tuesday.
Senior Republican John McCain, a senator from Arizona, said the report of Mr Trump sharing the information with Russian Federation was "deeply disturbing". "This was not any kind of information that was being divulged", said the Orlando-based political analyst, arguing that, "The intelligence community has been incredibly infiltrated by Israeli, Russian, French and British intelligence, you name it". Along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe, congressional committees are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the election and whether there was any collusion by the Trump campaign. An excerpt to an official transcript of the meeting reveals that Trump told them, "I get great intel".
Russian President Vladimir Putin has lashed out at US politicians whipping up what he described as "anti-Russian sentiment" for being either "stupid" or "dangerous".
"We continue to work together and we have confidence in that relationship between us and the United States that it helps to keep us all safer", she said.
"Lacking credibility makes dealing with crises infinitely more hard", said Alex Conant, a Republican communications strategist who advised the presidential bid of Florida Sen.
For a President who hasn't spent a single night in office away from one of his homes, the eight-day trip will prove a daunting entry into foreign diplomacy.
Trump's tweets Tuesday morning indicated that he did share some information with his Russian visitors.
A breach of trust raises the possibility that USA friends might curtail such intelligence partnerships out of concern their secrets - and their sources and methods - could end up in the wrong hands.
The meeting was "very, very successful", Trump added later in brief remarks about the meeting after giving a joint statement with the president of Turkey. Trump and his team allege that this was being done at the behest of those who are still loyal to the previous Obama government. Following his tweets, the Post said Trump acknowledges that "facts" were shared with Russian envoys.
The White House on Tuesday defended Trump discussing with the Russians an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.
"During President Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov, a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counterterrorism", Mr Tillerson said.
The officials, who were not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Israel previously had urged the United States to be careful about the handling of the intelligence that Trump discussed. The meeting was on the president's public schedule but American press was not allowed in; images of the meeting were made available through Russian state media.
"This story is false".
"Two other senior officials who were present, including the Secretary of State, remember the meeting the same way and have said so". "Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources" in the news report, he said. "I was in the room".
A US official who confirmed the disclosure to The Associated Press said the revelation potentially put the source at risk. However, he did not tell whether it was highly classified. Yet his decision to reveal an ally's information on ISIS with another country - and a geopolitical adversary, at that - could damage his standing with world leaders and lead some countries to start second-guessing their own intelligence-sharing agreements with the US.
"The real risk is not just this source", said Matt Olsen, the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center and an ABC News contributor, "but future sources of information about plots against us".
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
Republicans have largely stood behind Trump in the first months of his presidency as FBI and congressional investigations into Russia's election meddling intensified. Two sources told CNN that the information was classified.
"If the president outed a highly classified code-word source intentionally, that would be even more risky", Pelosi said.