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Kentucky Republican Reps Quiet On Trump’s Intel Share With Russia

Martin Falbisoner/Creative Commons

None of Kentucky’s Republican senators or congressmen responded to requests for comment on allegations that President Donald Trump gave classified information to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister last week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell briefly addressed the issue during an interview on Bloomberg TV Tuesday morning.

“I think we can do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so that we can focus on our agenda,” McConnell said.

McConnell echoed the statement during a news conference in the Capitol, refusing to expand on his reaction to the president’s actions.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump divulged classified information dealing with an Islamic State threat during an Oval Office meeting with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

Trump said that he shared the information intentionally and defended his decision on Twitter Tuesday morning, saying he had the “absolute right” to do so.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat, is the only member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation besides McConnell that has commented on the issue.

“If these reports are true, President Trump has become a threat to our national security. Unprecedented. Unacceptable. Un-American,” Yarmuth tweetedon Monday night.

Senate Democrats have called for the White House to release a transcript of Trump’s conversation with Kislyak and Lavrov. The issue is the latest in a string of controversial moves that the administration has had to respond to this month.

Last week, Trump abruptly fired FBI director James Comey, who was heading up the agency’s investigation into Russia’s interference with last year’s presidential election.

Kentucky’s congressional delegation was split along party lines — McConnell and the rest of Kentucky’s Republican delegation defended Trump’s move, while Yarmuth, the lone Democrat, condemned it.

McConnell has dismissed calls for an independent investigation into Russia’s election meddling, saying probes conducted by Congressional committees and the FBI are adequate.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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