Smith Statement on Trump Release of Classified Information
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about President Trump giving highly classified information to the Russians:
“We need to be clear about the gravity of what President Trump has done here. It is an extremely serious deed to hand sensitive information from our allies over to the Russians. He does not have an ‘absolute right’ to do whatever he wants with this information, because the President of the United States has obligations to security of the American people, to our allies who place their trust in us, and to the people whose lives his reckless acts might endanger. I hope that the he did not compromise the safety of any of our troops or civilians serving overseas, nor give comfort to our adversaries.
“It is clear that President Trump still does not recognize the danger that countries like Russia pose to us, to our values, and to global security. There is no evidence that the Russians have abandoned or even slowed their campaign to prop up dictatorships and undermine representative democracies around the world. We should not be trying to curry favor with them by cavalierly handing over the secrets of our close allies.
“Moreover, it is not appropriate that the administration purposely misrepresented the facts about this matter. It suggests contempt for the public and the free press to label a report categorically false, and then to subsequently admit that President Trump did release highly sensitive information, but claim that his actions were completely justified. Honesty and transparency with the press are essential elements of a functioning republic, and actions like this undermine those values.”