Trump's disclosure endangered spy placed inside ISIS by Israel, officials say

Frederick Owens
May 17, 2017

A USA ally provided the information, the official said, meaning it wasn't necessarily Trump's to share with anyone else.

Citing current and former U.S. officials, the Post said Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. You might think so after reading the Post piece, which claimed that the classified intel that Trump gave the Russians detailing a possible terrorist threat involving laptops included the name of a city in the Islamic State's territory that a USA intelligence partner provided. But he went on to outline "the extreme worry" scenario-the especially damaging possible consequences of the revelations: that individuals both within the USA government and among America's traditional allies might feel that the president can't be trusted with sensitive information. White House officials denounced the report, saying the president did not disclose intelligence sources or methods to the Russians, though officials did not deny that classified information was disclosed in the May 10 meeting.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. acted Tuesday to force a House vote on whether to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns, a move made following the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and the possible dissemination of classified material to Russian officials.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Trump's actions send "a troubling signal to America's allies and partners around the world and may impair their willingness to share intelligence with us in the future". He appeared to be suggesting that Trump had not knowingly compromised a confidential source, but the statement also indicated that the president had not asked his advisers for detailed information about the intelligence report he'd received.

He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, remember the meeting the same way. "Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources" in the news report, he said. The nature of specific threats was discussed, he said, but not sources, methods or military operations.

"We're still waiting to make sure the reporting is accurate, and we'll wait for more statements", Mr Flake said. "The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced". Still, it will only heighten Trumps strained relations with intelligence workers and former officials, who view Russian Federation as an adversary.

He's absolutely correct: He was well within his rights as president to share even what the Post termed "highly classified" intelligence with another country, especially about something as ugly as a terrorist threat.

"Donald Trump is out of his depth", said Gabriel Schoenfeld, a former senior adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who has written extensively about national security.

It's unlikely that Trump has broken any law.

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Trump's disclosure does not appear to have been illegal - the President has the power to declassify nearly anything.

"No. No, matter of fact I think the intelligence committee is the best committee to deal with this and any other effort will just simply slow down the opportunity to get and share information on this", Blunt said.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump", Dermer said.

In fact, it was so unexpected that officials later called the National Security Agency and the CIA to inform them of the breach of protocol and try to limit any damage.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats expressed concern about the report.

"We had a very, very successful meeting with the foreign minister of Russian Federation".

Meanwhile, Bustos and Loebsack said the revelations are focusing attention on "national security risks", as Loebsack put it, rather than on the economy. "But the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline - it's creating an environment that I think makes - it creates a worrisome environment".

"That the Russians would be the potential recipients of this intelligence and may be able to determine its source is all the more problematic, since the Russian interest in Syria and elsewhere is, in many respects, deeply antithetical to our own", Schiff said. He added that he wants the House intelligence committee fully briefed on what, if anything, was shared with the Russian officials.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: “If true, this is a slap in the face to the intel community.

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