Contradictions by Trump create credibility gap for aides

Trump is also under pressure over accusations he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the agency's investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The White House has defended Trump's talks with the Russians as "wholly appropriate".

His comments on Tuesday, while characteristically reserved, mark a shift in tone from his enthusiastic support for Trump's decision last week to fire FBI Director James Comey amid an ongoing investigation into links between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Chrystia Freeland and Harjit Sajjan dined with their USA counterparts for foreign affairs and defence - Rex Tillerson and James Mattis. The FBI concluded after an investigation a year ago that there were no grounds to pursue any charges against Clinton.

From the Michael Flynn debacle to the bungled firing of James Comey, Republicans have winced at this White House's absurdities, trying to keep their eyes on the broader policy prize.

The extraordinary leak of Trump's private conversations in the Oval Office appeared to be a direct effect of the president's combative relationship with the USA spy agencies.

Needless to say, the American press wasn't happy, claiming that the pool should have been granted access.

Complaining about what he said was "political schizophrenia" in the United States, Putin said Trump was not being allowed to do his job properly.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that if the story is true it would be "deeply disturbing".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the intelligence uproar a distraction from GOP priorities such as tax reform and replacing the health care law.

The person who described the Comey memo to the AP was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Senate Intelligence Committee asked the White House for more information about what information was passed on. This is a president, after all, who came to power at least in part on the much-exaggerated and highly sensationalized assertion that his opponent had so badly mishandled classified information that she deserved to go to jail.

Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies of the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua that Trump clearly "has a blind spot for the Russians and does not understand that the country is not a friend to the United States". Also, Trump is scheduled to depart on Friday for meetings with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and other heads of state in the Middle East in his first overseas diplomatic mission.

In a letter to acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe, the Senate Oversight Committee demanded that all memos and other documents or recordings relating to communications between Trump and Comey be turned over by May 24.

Asked Tuesday if he is concerned about White House credibility being undermined, Spicer said "no one would ever want that".

Coming just days after the controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey, it's not a good look for a White House that has been criticized for maintaining cozy ties with Russian Federation.

The president didn't mention Comey in his speech but he did make mention of his accomplishments thus far.

The disclosure put a source of intelligence on the Islamic State at risk, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the disclosure on Monday.

H.R. McMaster added that none of the USA officials present for the president's Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister last week "felt in any way that that conversation was inappropriate". He used that phrase nine times in his briefing to reporters.

"You have to protect your sources at all cost ... intelligence organizations would rather let a case fail than expose a source in a court case", Carvin said in an interview.

On Monday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said the Washington Post's report that Trump revealed highly classified with Russian officials, "as reported", was "false".

USA officials told the paper the disclosures may have endangered a key intelligence source involved with the campaign against ISIS. The New York Times reported a statement by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer saying the intelligence was provided by Israel.