Today in Trumpworld — May 16

TRUMP’S SCHEDULE:

9:30 a.m.: President Donald Trump will speak with King Abdullah II of Jordan by telephone from the Oval Office.

12:30 p.m.: Trump will welcome President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to the White House. The two will then meet briefly in the Oval Office.

1:00: Trump and Erdogan will deliver a joint statement in the Roosevelt Room.

1:15 p.m.: Trump and Erdogan will hold a working luncheon in the Cabinet Room.

2:30 p.m.: Trump will meet with HHS Secretary Tom Price and OMB director Mick Mulvaney in the Oval Office.

OTHER HAPPENINGS: Press secretary Sean Spicer and national security adviser H.R. McMaster will brief the press at the White House at 1:30 p.m.

TRUMP’S TWITTER THIS MORNING: “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining…….to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism. … I have been asking Director Comey & others, from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community…..

THE BIG STORY: From the Washington Post’s Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe: “President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.”

THE FALLOUT IN THE WEST WING: From POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey, Eliana Johnson and Josh Meyer: “The episode regarding classified information, which allegedly occurred last Wednesday in the Oval Office, was first reported by The Washington Post and sent his White House again in crisis control mode, days ahead of his first foreign trip. Aides had sought a calm week to avoid a widespread staff shake-up, which a displeased Trump has groused about to advisers and associates for the past four days. Earlier Monday, several officials said they were scrambling behind the scenes to appease Trump and avoid any seismic moves ahead of the trip.”

THE TRUST ISSUE: From POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump was accused of leaking highly classified information to Russian officials, and White House officials wanted to fiercely rebut the charges. But when senior national security officials issued statements Monday night, including from behind a podium on the West Wing driveway, they spoke for an administration that has strained its credibility by issuing a series of false, misleading or tortured statements on far less important matters. And they spoke for a president who less than a week ago said publicly that his aides and surrogates can’t be expected to give accurate statements, because they don’t always know what’s going on.”

BIG PICTURE: From POLITICO’s Michael Crowley: “On a recent visit to Washington, members of an official Chinese delegation told their congressional hosts that Jared Kushner, with his murky mix of business and political interests, reminded them of a wealthy young communist ‘princeling’ in their own country. When Capitol Hill aides warned officials from another repressive foreign government that they could pay a political price for human rights abuses, their visitors scoffed: President Donald Trump had just called their leader, they said, and told him he was doing a great job. In addition to those interactions, recounted by people who were present, in the days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, one diplomat from an undemocratic nation told POLITICO he was taking a guilty pleasure in the spectacle. ‘Now you guys can’t lecture everyone else anymore,’ he said. Trump has delighted in trampling political norms — from attacks on the judiciary and the media to groundless accusations about his political opponents — in ways that critics say resemble the behavior of foreign autocrats whom the United States has long condemned.”

BEING TRUMP’S LAWYER: From POLITICO’s Nancy Cook: “As a businessman, Donald Trump has long leaned on lawyers to fix messes. As a president, he’s giving his top White House lawyer an epic cleanup job. White House counsel Don McGahn is navigating the president through a Senate investigation into his associates’ ties to Russia, the latest allegation that Trump himself leaked highly classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office, the sudden firing of a FBI director and Trump’s suggestion that he may be taping conversations — to name just a few legal flare-ups of the past week.”

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