White House to Begin Investigation on President's Leaked Briefing Papers

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. left and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry R-Texas speak about the massive government spending bill moving through Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. left and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry R-Texas speak about the massive government spending bill moving through Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday

Amid criticism by some lawmakers of his congratulatory call to Putin, whose 76 percent win in the Russian election Sunday was denounced as a "sham" by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., Trump tweeted Wednesday that "Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing" and said that Moscow could help the United States solve a range of worldwide problems.

The decision by staff to leak of such sensitive information about Oval Office deliberations exposed a deep frustration within the White House about the president's ad-hoc approach and disregard for the advice of his inner circle. Trump he did so anyway during a conversation on Wednesday.

The Post's Ruth Marcus reported on Sunday that the staffers were required to sign the agreements during the early months of Trump's presidency, promising not to share confidential information at the risk of penalty. "They are wrong! Getting along with Russian Federation (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing", Trump tweeted, arguing that the U.S. needs Russia's help to solve the crises in North Korea and Syria, among other issues.

Trump's call came at a period of heightened tension after the White House imposed sanctions on Russian Federation for its interference in the 2016 US election and other "malicious cyberattacks".

The White House said Trump did not raise Russia's meddling in the US elections or its suspected involvement in the recent poisoning of a former spy in Britain in the call with Putin.

According to accounts from the White House and the Kremlin, Mr Trump did neither.

Two sources suggested the documents prepared for the call may have been classified, making unauthorized disclosure a crime.

The official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that aides had included a section in Trump's briefing materials for the call stating in all-caps: "DO NOT CONGRATULATE".

The row erupted as lawmakers heard that Russian Federation - slapped with USA sanctions over its meddling in the 2016 election - remains a menace as the country gears up for congressional polls in November.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner fumed that "the president did not even bring up the topic of our election security when he called Vladimir Putin".

Multiple officials told the Post there are no plans for a meeting between the two world leaders, despite Trump's assertion Tuesday he'll "be seeing President Putin in the not-too-distant future".

Allies, most notably in Britain, were furious about Mr Trump's lack of solidarity after a chemical weapons attack on double agent Sergei Skripal in a small English town.

"I don't like that he did it, but you know what I like even less?"

"The President and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall and other key domestic priorities, like combatting the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation's infrastructure", the White House said in a statement.

Good luck to everyone leaking stuff from the White House, which is everyone.

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