Report: Israeli intelligence furious over Trump’s leak to Russian officials

posted at 5:21 pm on May 19, 2017 by John Sexton

According to a report at Foreign Policy, Israeli intelligence officials are furious with President Trump over his impromptu decision to reveal highly classified information to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week:

Just days before President Donald Trump’s arrival in Tel Aviv, Israeli intelligence officials were shouting at their American counterparts in meetings, furious over news that the U.S. commander-in-chief may have compromised a vital source of information on the Islamic State and possibly Iran, according to  a U.S. defense official in military planning…

The details Trump spilled likely came from a source that was also useful on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its Hezbollah proxies in Syria and Lebanon, which are much higher priorities for Israel, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said…

“What Trump did is liable to cause heavy damage to Israel’s security, as well as the source, and U.S. security,’’ Danny Yatom, a former chief of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, told a Tel Aviv radio station. “Especially if this information reaches our good friends the Iranians.”

Earlier this week, ABC News reported that the leak had potentially endangered an Israeli spy. The Foreign Policy story suggests Israel was indeed concerned with losing the source and also with losing access to the inside information the source was providing them on Iran.

It’s worth noting once again that President Trump apparently didn’t know Israel was the source of the information in question when he shared it with Russian officials. So there’s no reason to believe this was malicious or in any way intended to harm Israel.

President Trump left today on a foreign tour that will include a visit to Israel next week.


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