On January 13th of this year, we published a post with the following headline: “Report: U.S. Intel Officials Advise Israel Not To Share Secrets With Trump, Fearing It’ll Leak To Russia.” Less than six months later, this exact scenario appears to have played out literally, as the New York Times reports that it was Israel that was the source of the “highly classified” intel that Donald Trump blabbered to agents of the Russian government in the Oval Office last week.
At the time of the aforementioned report, the fear was that Trump would either purposefully or accidentally share any intelligence with Russia, who in turn could hand it over to Iran. And considering how Russia and Iran have paired up to lecture Trump after his recent displays of military prowess, these valid concerns are now coming full circle. This NY Times report makes one marvel at the ease of following the breadcrumbs:
The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode.
Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and a major intelligence collector in the Middle East. The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries. It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.
NBC’s Brad Jaffy reports that his outlet has confirmed with three sources that Israel was the ally who gave the ISIS-related information to the United States. Indeed, while Trump bragged about his “great intel,” he spilled the goods on an Islamic State plot to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. This news shocked the public and sent White House staffers scrambling to hide in offices. Trump tweet-defended himself by saying that he had a “right” to share this information from an undisclosed ally, and National Security Advisor General McMaster claimed on Tuesday that Trump wasn’t even aware of the source of this intel.
So, what now? Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer wouldn’t confirm to the NY Times whether this information had, in fact, come from his country. And no word has surfaced from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on this matter. In February, he gushed in a joint press conference at the White House about his longtime friend, who happens to be the U.S. president now: “There’s no greater support of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.”
Well, you can’t say that Israel wasn’t warned.