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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

After The Washington Post reported that President Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials last week, Republican Senator Bob Corker said the White House is in a "downward spiral," and Paul Ryan is asking for an explanation:

  • Bob Corker: "The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order. It's got to happen...Obviously they're in a downward spiral right now and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that's happening." Corker added, "To compromise a source is something that you just don't do."
  • John McCain: "It's disturbing" and "We certainly don't want any president to leak classified information but the president does have the right to do that."
  • Lindsey Graham: "If it's accurate, it'd be troubling."
  • Paul Ryan, via his spokesperson: "We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation's secrets is paramount. The speaker hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration."
  • Marco Rubio said he's "got to go and turn on the recording system in my office," and also said, "I haven't seen the story…Sometimes this stuff is breaking faster than our ability to check online."
  • Frank LoBiondo said "Classified Intelligence is classified for a reason and must be respected and protected" and this is "deeply concerning." He said he would raise the issue with the House Intel Committee this week.
  • Jim Risch: It's no longer classified the minute he utters it."
  • Susan Collins: "Can we have a crisis-free day? That's all I'm asking."

Read how Trump has reacted to classified leaks in the past, here.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

2 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.