Donald Trump is said to have revealed highly classified information during a meeting with Russian officials, just a day after making the unusual and contentious decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.
The news about Mr Trump giving sensitive intelligence to Russian officials, first reported by the Washington Post, quickly spread across the Internet and drew record-breaking readership to that paper’s website.
Here’s everything we know so far.
He told the Russian officials intelligence about Isis
Mr Trump reportedly bragged about knowing of an Isis threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft. Specific details haven't been published as they could have further damaged the integrity of the information.
He also shared intelligence that wasn’t even widely shared within the US intelligence community
The information had been given to the US through an agreement with a US partnership and wasn’t supposed to be shared with Russian officials. The intelligence-sharing arrangement was considered to be so sensitive that the info was withheld from many US allies and even many within the US intelligence community.
We're not sure where the intelligence came from
It’s unclear exactly where the intelligence came from but the Post reported that the country sharing the information has access to “the inner workings of the Islamic State.”
The biggest names involved in the Trump-Russia investigation
The biggest names involved in the Trump-Russia investigation
1/11 Paul Manafort
Mr Manafort is a Republican strategist and former Trump campaign manager. He resigned from that post over questions about his extensive lobbying overseas, including in Ukraine where he represented pro-Russian interests.
2/11 Mike Flynn
Mr Flynn was named as Trump's national security adviser but was forced to resign from his post for inappropriate communication with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. He had misrepresented a conversation he had with Mr Kislyak to Vice President Mike Pence, telling him wrongly that he had not discussed sanctions with the Russian.
3/11 Sergey Kislyak
Mr Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, is at the centre of the web said to connect President Donald Trump's campaign with Russia.
4/11 Roger Stone
Mr Stone is a former Trump adviser who worked on the political campaigns of Richard Nixon, George HW Bush, and Ronald Reagan. Mr Stone claimed repeatedly in the final months of the campaign that he had backchannel communications with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that he knew the group was going to dump damaging documents to the campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton - which did happen. Mr Stone also had contacts with the hacker Guccier 2.0 on Twitter, who claimed to have hacked the DNC and is linked to Russian intelligence services.
5/11 Jeff Sessions
The US attorney general was forced to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation after it was learned that he had lied about meeting with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
6/11 Carter Page
Mr Page is a former advisor to the Trump campaign and has a background working as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch. Mr Page met with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Mr Page had invested in oil companies connected to Russia and had admitted that US Russia sanctions had hurt his bottom line.
7/11 Jeffrey "JD" Gorden
Mr Gordon met with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 Republian National Convention to discuss how the US and Russia could work together to combat Islamist extremism should then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump win the election. The meeting came days before a massive leak of DNC emails that has been connected to Russia.
8/11 Jared Kushner
Mr Kushner is President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a key adviser to the White House. He met with a Russian banker appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December. Mr Kushner has said he did so in his role as an adviser to Mr Trump while the bank says he did so as a private developer. Mr Kushner has also volunteered to testify in the Senate about his role helping to arrange meetings between Trump advisers and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
9/11 James Comey
Mr Comey was fired from his post as head of the FBI by President Donald Trump. The timing of Mr Comey's firing raised questions around whether or not the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign may have played a role in the decision.
10/11 Preet Bharara
Mr Bahara refused, alongside 46 other US district attorney's across the country, to resign once President Donald Trump took office after previous assurances from Mr Trump that he would keep his job. Mr Bahara had been heading up several investigations including one into one of President Donald Trump's favorite cable television channels Fox News. Several investigations would lead back to that district, too, including those into Mr Trump's campaign ties to Russia, and Mr Trump's assertion that Trump Tower was wiretapped on orders from his predecessor.
11/11 Sally Yates
Ms Yates, a former Deputy Attorney General, was running the Justice Department while President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general awaited confirmation. Ms Yates was later fired by Mr Trump from her temporary post over her refusal to implement Mr Trump's first travel ban. She had also warned the White House about potential ties former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to Russia after discovering those ties during the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign's connections to Russia.
It was very highly classified
A US official familiar with the matter told the Post that it was “code-word information,” meaning that it was one of the highest classification levels used by US spy agencies. Mr Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies,” that source said.
It was not illegal for him to share it
After all, he is the president. Technically, the US president has the power to declassify anything and everything he wants to in his position at the top of the government. It’s less clear what international laws or agreements he may have broken, if any.
A day after Comey's firing, the timing is noteworthy
Mr Comey’s firing had several reported reasons but one of the most damning — which Mr Trump seemed to have recognised during an interview — was that he fired the former FBI director because his bureau was investigating his campaign’s ties to Russian officials (which critics say amounts to obstruction of justice). News that the president disclosed highly classified information to Russians the day after firing someone investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia raised some eyebrows, to say the least.
Trump leaking the information is very serious
The intelligence in question regards Isis and could potentially damage the ability of the United States and its allies’ abilities to identify future threats. The information could also help Russia figure out who the ally was that provided the information, or help Russia to understand American intelligence gathering techniques.
He leaked it to two very senior Russian officials
Mr Trump was reportedly boasting about his inside knowledge when he told Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov about the intelligence. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” he said, an official with knowledge of their exchange told the Post.Reuse content