US stocks and the dollar sold off and bond prices barred as investors fled unsafe assets amid uncertainty for US President Trump and his administration.
During an Oval Office meeting, President Trump allegedly leaked highly classified information to Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador, and Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister. It was reported that the closely guarded details of the intelligence gathered about an Islamic State threat was shared. But top administration officials who attended the said meeting denied the accusations.
“During President Trump’s meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov, a broad range of subjects were discussed, among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism,” secretary of the state, Rex Tillerson explained.
Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova of Russia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the report as fake and insisted that the story was a planned hit against Russia.
However, the original report implies that the shared information was through laptops on planes. This potentially puts the source at risk. The information was given to the US by an ally who did consent it to be shared with Russia. The White House did not respond and withheld further specifics of the meeting.
“Revealing classified information at this level is extremely dangerous and puts at risk the lives of Americans and those who gather intelligence for our country,” senate Democratic member Chuck Schumer expressed.
The argument became more heated when President Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey who had been leading a federal investigation of potential links between Trump and Moscow. Originating from the US government’s conclusion last year that Russia intervened with the 2016 presidential election, boosting Trump’s candidacy.
White House claimed that Comey’s dismissal is unrelated to the Russia inquiry. But questions were raised about the fact that the Russia state media was allowed in the Oval office while American reporters were denied access.
The National committee states, “Russia no longer has to spy on us to get information – they just ask President Trump and he spills the beans with highly classified information that jeopardizes our national security and hurts our relationships with allies… If Trump weren’t president, his dangerous disclosure to Russia could end with him in handcuffs.”
In response to all the drama, the dollar went tumbling down.
“Dollar selling pressure emerged at the end of last week, partly in response to disappointing US economic data. This selling pressure carried over into yesterday’s activity,” Brown Brothers Harriman’s global head of currency strategy Marc Chandler said.
The US dollar index was down by 0.4% at 98.46. The euro is up by 0.7% at 1.1055 against the dollar. The highest level reached in six months and the first time the currency climbed above 1.10 since November. The British pound is down at 0.2% at 1.2875. Data also showed the British CPI rose by 2.8 in April, the fastest pace since 2013. The Russian ruble is at 56.3399 and Brent crude oil international benchmark is up by 0.6% at 452.15 per barrel.