Now, in an explosive Washington Post story, the U.S. intelligence community has hit back — hard. Current and former intelligence officials told The Post that the president, perhaps inadvertently, had revealed highly classified information about Islamic State to the Russian government.
That report increases the chance that Trump's support from Republicans will keep eroding. And it increases the impossible-to-quantify threat to the president's ability to complete a full four-year term. One indication: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said the Trump White House was in a "downward spiral."
The news will "add fuel to fire" both about Trump's ties to Russia and "to those harboring doubts as to Trump's fitness to be president," said Richard Haass, who heads the Council on Foreign Relations and previously served as a national security aide to both presidents Bush. Haass said Trump's actions "could jeopardize security by alerting enemies, burning sources and making allies less willing to share sensitive intel."
Nor can Trump, who has likened U.S. intelligence officials to Nazis for their handling of information about his associates and Russian interference in the 2016 election, assume that today's disclosures will end attempts by those officials to hold him accountable.