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McMaster: Trump Told Russians He Feels ‘Hamstrung in His Ability to Work With Russia’

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster was on ABC’s This Week today discussing President Trump‘s foreign trip, but George Stephanopoulos opened by grilling him about the president’s recent meeting with top Russian officials.

After the report last week that Trump “revealed highly classified information” to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, McMaster came out and said that “the story that came out tonight as reported is false.” He told reporters that he was in the room and it didn’t happen.

He also said days later, “The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from. He wasn’t briefed on the source or method of information either.”

Stephanopoulos brought up the more recent news from that meeting––that Trump had trashed “nut job” James Comey and said that the “great pressure” he faced on Russia has been “taken off”––and he asked McMaster if that’s what the president said.

And while McMaster said “I don’t remember exactly what the president said,” he added that the general gist of the conversation was that “the president feels as if he’s hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia, to find areas of cooperation, because this has obviously been so much in the news.”

Stephanopoulos pressed him on the appropriateness of such a conversation and on whether Trump confronted these top Russian officials on election interference. McMaster said he wouldn’t “divulge more of that meeting,” while decrying all the leaks coming out about what happened in the meeting.

Retired Lt. Col. John Nagl recently told NPR, “H.R. is in an absolutely impossible situation. And many of us, his friends, were concerned that something like this was going to happen when he took this job working for this administration. He is a man of extraordinary integrity and honor. He’s devoted his entire life to the service of our great nation. And he’s got a president who has clearly done damage to the United States and to our relationships with our allies around the globe by revealing this information.”

McMaster responded by saying, in part, “I don’t think I’m in an impossible situation.”

Watch above, via ABC.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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