DONALD Trump has defended his sharing of information with Russian officials, saying he has an “absolute right” to do so as US president.

He tweeted that he wanted to share with Russia “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety”.

His Twitter post added: “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

Trump’s response came after the Washington Post reported that he revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week, putting a source of intelligence on the Daesh group at risk.

The disclosure drew strong condemnation from Democrats and a rare rebuke of the president from some Republican legislators.

White House officials denounced the report, saying the president did not disclose intelligence sources or methods to the Russians, although officials did not deny that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation,” said HR McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser.

“At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”

The Post, citing current and former US officials, said Trump shared details about a Daesh threat related to the use of laptops on aircraft with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

The ambassador has been a central player in the controversy surrounding possible co-ordination between Trump’s campaign and election meddling by Moscow.

The officials said the information Trump relayed during the Oval Office meeting had been provided by a US partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. They said it was considered so sensitive that details had been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the US Government.

The New York Times published a similar report later on Monday.