Today The Washington Post dropped the bombshell that President Trump had revealed classified information about the Islamic State to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak when the three of them met at the White House last week. You know a story is big when it gets as many concurrent visitors as the story about the infamous Access Hollywood video. There was no hiding near bushes in the dark this time to walk back the damage. Deputy National-Security Advisor Dina Powell declared the story “false,” and the administration also called out the big guns, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster dutifully rushing into the breach to discuss the breach, using oh-so-carefully worded statements about how the president did not reveal “sources or methods” or any “military operations” that were not already known publicly.
So just how bad is the damage? On a scale of 1 to 10—and I’m just ball parking here—it’s about a billion. The story, which has since been confirmed by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reuters, Buzzfeed, and CNN, notes that the president could have jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. Not America’s source. Somebody else’s. Presumably from an allied intelligence service who now knows that the American president cannot be trusted with sensitive information.