Balance of Power: Trump’s Loose Lips

Sen. Corker Claims White House in 'Downward Spiral'

Donald Trump’s campaign rallies often rang out with chants of “Lock her up!” as he proclaimed that Hillary Clinton should be jailed for mishandling classified information.

Now Trump stands accused of revealing top-secret intelligence. To the Russians in the Oval Office, no less.

“This is code-word information,” one U.S. official told the Washington Post. The newspaper reported that Trump boasted to his Russian visitors of new details of an Islamic State plot to bomb airliners with laptops. The dollar fell for a fifth day.

The White House was unapologetic and labeled the story false. But it creates two big problems for Trump.

First, the country that shared the intel didn’t want it shared widely, even among allies. U.S. spymasters now worry that it will be reluctant to hand over any more information about the inner workings of Islamic State. That could end Trump's dream of smashing the group.

Second, the furor risks pushing some Republicans to breaking point, one week after Trump fired his FBI director.

“The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control,” said Senator Bob Corker, the head of the Senate's foreign affairs committee.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak meet in the Oval Office at the White House.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak meet in the Oval Office at the White House.

Photographer: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS via Getty Images

Global Headlines

Erdogan meets Trump | As controversy swirls around the White House again, Trump will meet his Turkish counterpart today. Recep Tayipp Erdogan wants to know why Trump signed off on plans to arm Syrian Kurds, a group that Turkey labels as terrorists. It’s not clear whether Erdogan expects to change Trump's mind, or what he'll do if he fails. Either way, Erdogan has called today's meeting “decisive.”

Did North Korea plant WannaCry? | There’s a blame game brewing over who’s responsible for last week's crippling cyberattack. Microsoft points the finger at the U.S. government for developing the tools that made it possible, while some experts say the software giant is accountable too. But who planted it? Some sleuths see the hand of Kim Jong Un, saying that the code resembles that used by alleged North Korean hackers in the past.

Iran's election is now a two-man race | Iran's presidential election has effectively turned into a straight fight between conservative Ebrahim Raisi and moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani after the mayor of Tehran pulled out of the race yesterday and backed Raisi. Polls suggest it's too close to call. Bloomberg’s Iran team has written more about the candidates and their positions here. The first round is on Friday.

May recruits a hard Brexit army | British Prime Minister Theresa May is packing her Conservative party with an army of Euroskeptics ahead of next month’s election. Bloomberg's London bureau surveyed the views of all her party's new candidates and the results suggest May will have strong backing for a so-called hard Brexit if the polls are right and she wins with a large majority.  

Macron's six economic time bombs | Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency on a promise to fix the economy. Now he's got five years to turn around a country with rising debt, an aging population and unemployment near a record high. Andre Tartar and Fabio Benedetti Valentini assembled six charts that show the scale of his challenge. Here's one of them.

A peek at Trump's finances | Trump is about to let the U.S. public know how his finances fared in last year's presidential election. The White House said the president plans to release a 2016 financial disclosure form soon. Vice President Mike Pence put his out Monday, showing he earned $110,000 last year.

And finally... What is it about Bruce Springsteen and politicians? Ireland's prime minister was recently seen playing air guitar at a Springsteen concert in Dublin. Chris Christie's love for The Boss remains famously unrequited. Now comes news that France's new prime minister is also a fan. But what about President Macron? It turns out that his tastes are more old-fashioned. Asked by French radio about his favorite musicians, Macron named Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini.

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