WASHINGTON (WTXF/AP) - National security adviser H.R. McMaster stood by his statement denying a Washington Post report President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, McMaster said the "premise of that article is false." He added Trump did not have a "conversation that was inappropriate or resulted in any kind of lapse in national security.
McMaster said the real threat to national security was leakers "releasing information to the press."
Monday, The Washington Post reported Trump shared classified information with Russian officials that jeopardized an intelligence source.
McMaster told reporters after the story broke: "I was in the room. It didn't happen."
Midday Tuesday, he said information president shared with the Russians was "wholly appropriate" and based on "open source reporting," and "in no way" compromised intelligence sources and methods.
McMcaster did not deny that Trump discussed classified information.
Trump said in a tweet earlier Tuesday that he had the authority to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russia.
Trump's tweets did not address whether he revealed classified information about the Islamic State group, as published reports have said and as a U.S. official told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The White House said Herbert Raymond "H.R." McMaster would originally to appear with press secretary Sean Spicer, but Spicer plans to hold a separate, off-camera session with reporters later in the day, after McMaster's appearance.
Reporters also got a briefing from McMaster about Trump's first overseas trip, which opens Friday.
During the announcement, President Trump called McMaster "a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience."
McMaster served in the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Considered a scholarly officer, he holds a Ph.D. in military history, and has authored a book called "Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam." He has also written articles questioning the planning for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
McMaster was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy, before going on to West Point and UNC-Chapel Hill.