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Trump reveal would show a 'shocking disregard or lack of understanding' of classified info: Ex-US intel official

A former U.S. intelligence official on Monday broke down the implications of a Washington Post report that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting.

If Trump unintentionally revealed the information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it would be a "shocking disregard or lack of understanding of classified information," the former official told CNBC, offering analysis as someone who has been in the room for meetings such as these.

If Trump intended to divulge the information, it would mark a significant shift in the United States' approach to intelligence alliances, the former official added.

The matter also cuts to the heart of the fallout from Trump's termination of FBI Director James Comey last week. In a tweet Friday, Trump suggested there could be recordings of their conversations. The Post's report Monday said there was a full transcript of Trump's discussion with the Russian officials.

The former intelligence official who spoke to CNBC expressed surprise at the idea that there was a transcript of the meeting, and said it raises questions of what is and isn't being recorded in the Oval Office.

The Post's report cited officials, including one that said Trump discussed "code-word information" during his meeting with the Russians. Buzzfeed, in its own report on the matter, cited an official who said the situation is "far worse than what has already been reported."

CNBC couldn't immediately confirm the Post's report.

Administration officials later challenged the story.

"During President Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. "During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations.

This story was written by Michael Calia from reporting by CNBC's Eamon Javers.