What consequences will Trump's disclosures have?

US President Donald Trump reportedly disclosed highly confidential intelligence material to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the latter's visit to Washington on May 10. According to US media the information regarding the IS came from an intelligence agency cooperating with the US. Commentators discuss factors leading up to the disclosures and the potential consequences of Trump's faux pas.

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Le Temps (CH) /

Allies will keep mum in future

Trump has done lasting harm with his faux pas, Le Temps points out:

“By giving the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov information classified as ultra-confidential the US president may not have violated the constitution. But he has betrayed an ally in the Middle East (probably Israel), which delivered highly sensitive information on the IS to the US administration. The New York billionaire has sabotaged the fundamental intelligence principle of trust. High-ranking Americans are already advising their Israeli counterparts to think twice before sharing any information with the Trump administration. How can Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron confide in the president without fearing that the contents of their discussions will be shared with other powers, including Russia?”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Russian ambassador laughing up his sleeve

The US president's dealings with Russia will dog him for a long time to come, Jutarnji list comments:

“Donald Trump has once again burned his fingers on the Russian campfire. He should have been more careful, especially because even during his election campaign he was continually criticised for his close relations to the Russians. ... The Russian ambassador to the US, Kislyak, must be laughing up his sleeve. The 66-year old diplomat who's said to have provoked Trump's faux pas is a legend in the American capital. He's touted to have a sterling relationship with Trump's son-in-law, and word has it that Trump's national security adviser Flynn was also fired because of him. He's known as the Flying Dutchman, because meetings with him have cost more than one US politician his career.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

White House in turmoil

The manner in which Trump's transgressions have come to light leads one to suspect that not everything is as it should be in the US administration, Hospodářské noviny comments:

“There is one snag to events in the US: how is it possible that the information about Trump's bragging to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov became public when, apart from a small group of Russians, only a few American representatives were in the Oval Office with Trump at the time? The Washington Post didn't just dream the story up; one of the Americans must have leaked it. That speaks volumes about the dissatisfaction of some people in the White House.”

Aamulehti (FI) /

Republicans must put an end to the circus

Aamulehti calls on the Republicans to stop Trump:

“Donald Trump clearly lacks the maturity to do his job. And only a section of the US population seems shocked by the recent news and considers the passing on of sensitive intelligence data to the Russians to be worrying. It's no surprise that the Democrats and the liberal quality media belong to that section. The Republican president can hardly be held accountable for anything. But the other politicians in his party should be sensible enough to assume responsibility and put an end to this circus before it's too late.”

Digi 24 (RO) /

Trump needn't fear Congress

Donald Trump has no need to fear consequences even after this latest scandal, journalist Laura Stefanut writes on the blog Digi 24:

“If Congress believes that Trump's actions aren't worthy of a president, it can initiate impeachment proceedings. But looking at all such proceedings in the past we see that the president never came from the party with a majority in Congress. Trump, however, has the support of the Republican majority. ... Practically speaking the decision is up to Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republicans in the Senate. But although their statements reveal displeasure at Trump's actions, there's no sign that they'd go so far as to try to remove him from office. Since the election campaign it's become clear that Ryan prefers to remain silent so as to protect himself and the GOP.”