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updated: 5/17/2017 2:21 PM

Roskam expresses 'alarm' over Trump, Russia intel report

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  • Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton says he is troubled by reports that President Donald Trump gave classified information to the Russians,

    Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton says he is troubled by reports that President Donald Trump gave classified information to the Russians,

 
Daily Herald report

Conservative Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton is expressing "alarm" at reports that President Donald J. Trump shared classified information with Russian officials.

"It is the president's responsibility to protect America's secrets from America's enemies," Roskam told the Daily Herald in a written statement. "It is alarming to read reports suggesting President Trump revealed classified information to Vladimir Putin's adversarial regime."

Criticism of Trump's reported disclosure was virtually universal among suburban lawmakers, but Roskam's comments are particularly noteworthy in that he's a member of Trump's own party and is active in national security issues.

Among his Congressional duties, he co-chairs the House Republican Israel Caucus, and it is believed that the sensitive information was passed along to the U.S. from Israel and that its disclosure could compromise U.S. relationships with that ally.

Roskam also served on the House Select Committee that investigated the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya and expressed strict party line viewpoints on that matter.

The Washington Post and other media on Monday reported Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week.

Trump responded Tuesday in a pair of tweets that he shared "facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety" and had "the absolute right" to do so.

The other Republican in the suburban delegation, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano, took a much more cautious position on the intel controversy.

"I am following the situation closely as the facts are established," he said in a statement responding to a Daily Herald inquiry.

Meanwhile, area Democrats predictably expressed outrage.

U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg said revealing information to the Russian government "could endanger intelligence resources, our information sharing agreements with allies, and ultimately, people's lives."

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield, called Trump's reported handling of classified information reckless.

"The administration needs to brief Congress immediately on the full extent of this disclosure," Schneider said in a news release.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville called the reports "highly disturbing" and part of a "continuing pattern of irresponsible off-the-cuff statements."

"I call on the president to inform Congress of the meeting's details," he said.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat, couldn't be reached for comment.

Illinois' two Senate Democrats also sharply criticized the president.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates called the allegation "stunning" and "alarming."

"Russia is not our friend," she said, "yet President Trump seems extraordinarily comfortable inviting Russian agents into the Oval Office and sharing with them highly classified intelligence that's too sensitive to even share with our allies."

Duckworth renewed calls for a independent special prosecutor to investigate ties between Russia and the president.

Illinois' senior senator, Dick Durbin of Springfield, used Twitter to accuse Trump of "trying to ingratiate himself with the Russians by bragging about highly classified national security secrets."

In a separate statement, Durbin called Trump's actions "a national security breach ... of incredible proportions."

• Daily Herald staff writers Russell Lissau and Doug T. Graham and news services contributed to this report.

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