Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on Monday said President Donald Trump likely acted in an unschooled manner when he discussed highly classified information with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister.
"Of all the probabilities, the idea he was acting as a Manchurian candidate feeding information to his Russian operatives and controllers is ridiculous," Krauthammer told Fox News' "Special Report." "The only implication here is that he's unschooled. This is his first go around with sensitive information, and he might've slipped up. If he did, it's not good. On the other hand, if it's not deliberate, it's not exactly a high crime and misdemeanor."
Trump allegedly shared information from an intelligence-sharing arrangement with a U.S. partner with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The information centered around the Islamic State. Doing so endangers cooperation with that ally as the partner that provided the information did not give permission to share it with Russia.
Fellow panelist Juan Williams took offense with Krauthammer's charge, given the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.
"In the context of this moment, given his questions about his relationship with Russia, that he would invite not only the foreign minister but the ambassador into the Oval Office," Williams said. "And . . . also invite the Russian press at a time when he wasn't inviting the American press. People were concerned about leaving all kinds of devices in the Oval Office. This is what is creating so much attention to this report from The Washington Post."
"This context is irrelevant," Krauthammer said.
"Not at all," Williams said.
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