It is "just weird" that President Donald Trump would share information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during a meeting last week in the Oval Office, Sen. Ben Sasse said Tuesday.
Further, Russia wants to "exacerbate our internal distrust of each other," the Nebraska Republican said.
"It's not helpful that this was with the Russians," Sasse told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, responding to a story in The Washington Post that claimed Trump had disclosed classified information to them.
Vladimir "Putin is the enemy of the freedom of speech, press and assembly, the beating heart of what America means."
There is still "technical stuff" about what happened in the meeting that's not yet known, said Sasse, but at the same time, he believes that Washington in general is not meeting its obligation to protect the public trust.
"One of the basic duties of someone in a public office and has a public trust responsibility should be to be celebrating what America is about and to be telling that story," said Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Right now, Washington isn't doing any of that."
Meanwhile the intelligence community depends on its sources and methods, said Sasse, and it's important that the words of CIA station chiefs around the globe "is taken seriously."
"The world is a broken place and we need spies around the globe," said Sasse. "There's a lot we don't know about this story yet."
Trump Tuesday morning tweeted that he had the "absolute right" to disclose classified information about ISIS during last week's meeting.
His comments came after National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson disputed the report, which came out late Monday.
Sasse said he believes Trump has appointed a "number of really strong, honorable people," but overall, Washington isn't attending to its duty to be public servants.
Sasse said McMaster is a "really great public servant, an honorable man," and he believes his comments about the meeting were a "technical quote," but "something quite different from a full rebuttal of the story."
The senator earlier Tuesday told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" that as there is much that is not known yet, much of what's being reported is "a little bit overheated and not clear," but at the same time, intelligence sources and methods must be handled with care.
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"You will see some national media use language like 'legality,'" said Sasse. "That's very goofy because it's very difficult for the president to break laws related to classified information because he is the ultimate declassifier. A debate about imprudence is a really important debate and the fact this happened with the Russians isn't helpful because they don't have our interests at heart."
Sasse appeared on the programs to speak about his new book, "The Vanishing of the American Adult," in which he examines the actions of today's young adults.
"We don't teach our kids that scar tissue is something to be celebrated," Sasse told Morning Joe. "Scar tissue is the foundation of character and we're not doing enough."
He denied that his book is not about politics or the president, but about the youth of today.
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