29 May 2017 | Last updated 02:31 PM

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Donald Trump may be facing one of the toughest tests of credibility
Rohit Chandavarkar | Tuesday, 16 May 2017 AT 09:15 PM IST
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When the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) did a show in their flagship series Panorama about how Donald Trump had very close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, there was a lot of rage in the United States. This was over six months ago. But now America’s own Washington Post has come out with some startling revelations and could be the toughest test Trump faces ever.

Donald Trump’s latest crisis is related to him disclosing highly classified information to Russia, The issue is giving voice to a question whispered privately in Washington during weeks of political turmoil: Is the President really trustworthy?  

CNN has come out with scathing reports over this issue. “This isn’t really about the power of the President. He has the power to do this,” former CIA Director Michael Hayden said on ‘CNN Tonight show’. “This is more about the person of the President and the performance,” he added.

The problem is after every couple of weeks Trump seems to be facing some very hard questions which raise questions about his credibility and even capability.

The new storm engulfing an already beleaguered White House is so potentially damaging because it stretches far beyond the simple personal standing and reputation of the President.  

Alan Dershowitz, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, said Trump is safe from criminal prosecution or impeachment because a President has the power to declassify intelligence.  But he offered a stunning assessment of the gravity of the situation.

“This is the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president of the United States. Let’s not underestimate it,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett.  

But Trump hit back on Tuesday, implicitly dismissing arguments about his competence by arguing that he had made a strategic decision to share intelligence with his Oval Office guests.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.  

The White House just a day earlier blasted the reports as ‘false’. National Security Adviser HR McMaster said that Trump did not compromise any sources and methods.

But while the identity of the country that provided the US with the information is not publicly known, it is unlikely to be too hard for the Russians, with their highly sophisticated intelligence agencies, to work out where it came from. That leaves open the possibility that vital intelligence, key to protecting American lives, may not be available to US clandestine services in future.
The White House sounds very firm as it denies all the reports appearing in media but those levelling allegations too sound convinced about the evidence they have and that is causing a lot of damage to the office of the president.

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