Mideast Daily News

Intel Revealed by Trump came from Israel; Frantic Rush to Prevent Fallout

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

May 17, 2017

US President Donald Trump and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet at the White House on May 10, 2017. (Photo by Russia Foreign Minister Press Office /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Word that President Donald Trump revealed classified intelligence to the Russian Foreign Minister quickly rose to the top of the scandal lists on Tuesday. But in Israel, which most now agree was the source of the intel, the incident is taking on greater significance because of the visit by President Trump slated for next week. The Israelis, who are often singled out for insinuations by international powers that it is not safe to share intelligence with Jerusalem for fear of leaks, are now scrambling to downplay the severity of having its intelligence and possibly its agents compromised in an effort to avoid a confrontation with Trump. Making matters worse is the fear that Russia, the recipient of the information, could pass it on to Israel’s nemesis, Iran. According to America’s ABC network, the intel was the information that led to the banning of laptop computers on flights from certain Middle Eastern nations and it came from an Israeli spy embedded with ISIS. President Trump and the White House have taken the position that what was said to the Russians was proper and within the parameters of the conversation and experts have agreed that the President did nothing illegal since he has the power to declassify any information. But legal or not, the compromising of the confidentiality of its intelligence infrastructure and possibly placing sources at risk is not only a problem for Israel in determining how it will deal with the new American administration, but clearly demonstrates an American disregard for Israel’s specific admonition to Washington to be more cautious with its information and disregard for the safety of its operatives. It also comes as President Trump’s about faces on campaign promises that benefit Israel, including moving the US embassy and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, are fueling suspicion of the new administration.


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