President Donald Trump is once again being accused of sharing sensitive information with a foreign dignitary.
BuzzFeed News is reporting that "Pentagon officials are in shock after the release of a transcript between President Donald Trump and his Philippines counterpart reveals that the US military had moved two nuclear submarines towards North Korea."
The report goes on to quote officials as saying, "We never talk about subs!"
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In a transcript of the conversation Trump had with the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, on April 29—a record of which is marked confidential but has since been published—the two men began talking about the North Korean threat.
After Duterte mentions the influence China could have in the situation, Trump says, "We have a lot of firepower over there. We have two submarines — the best in the world. We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all."
Pentagon sources reportedly told BuzzFeed that the president's disclosure was too revealing, reducing the "element of surprise," and it could also tempt nearby countries like China to test the anti-submarine systems they want to implement.
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The Washington Examiner, however, downplayed the significance of Trump's comments, noting the U.S. Navy itself announced the separate arrivals of the USS Michigan and USS Cheyenne in the region in news releases dated April 25 and May 2, respectively.
The piece goes on to say that "Though the Cheyenne announcement came after Trump's call with Duterte, it's an indication that the information is not as sensitive as some are suggesting."
A Business Insider report indicates that it is unclear which submarines the president was actually referring to but notes at the same time, "it is highly unlikely his disclosure was inappropriate, because he did not appear to give specifics."
Trump had previously been criticized for sharing information about an Islamic State threat with several Russian officials during an Oval Office visit.