Israel Was Source Of Intelligence That Trump Gave To Russians

Donald Trump defends sharing information with Russia; Kremlin calls report 'nonsense'

President Donald Trump's conversation with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister was "wholly appropriate" National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster told reporters Tuesday.

The official said Tuesday that sharing the information "could be a risk for our sources". The president had been engaging in "routine sharing" with foreign leaders, he said, arguing that some of the information was publicly available.

White House officials initially denied the report.

But the press secretary said he was "pleased" with Israel's assurances of confidence in its intelligence-sharing relationship with the Trump administration. "They can put together a good picture with just a few details", said John Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency who served in Moscow in the 1990s and later ran the CIA's Russian Federation program for three years.

Fears over the safety of spies and informants have led to questions about allies passing intelligence to the US after the Washington Post reported that Trump had revealed highly classified information from a USA intelligence partner about an Islamic State plot.

"The question is simply a yes or no question here: Did the president share classified information with the Russians in that meeting?" CIA Director Mike Pompeo was to brief members of the House intelligence committee later in the day.

The official said the information was provided to the U.S.by Israel. And indeed, presidents are legally authorized to disclose classified information. "The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order".

The White House's botched handling of Trump's firing last week of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the bureau's Russian Federation probe, and the president's own volatile statements about his actions are also likely to raise questions among allies about the US leader's standing. "Regardless of what was shared in the meeting, it's risky to believe that Russian Federation can be a reliable counterterrorism partner", he said.

In a statement, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said the partnership between the U.S and Israel was solid.

But other nations appeared to be reconsidering. Such sharing "could be a risk for our sources", the official said.

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One official, who requested anonymity to discuss dealing with the president, said last month: "He has no filter; it's in one ear and out the mouth".

According to The Washington Post, that has played out nearly exactly - though it is unclear whether the Russians have relayed that intelligence to Iran.

Speaking to CNN before reports emerged that Israel may be the source of the intel, former Israeli spymaster Danny Yatom said the revelation of classified intelligence by Trump "is a very disturbing issue and might cause a lot of danger".

Russian President Vladimir Putin says reports that President Trump gave Russian officials highly classified information make him think "the United States has been developing political schizophrenia".

Gallagher wrote that "while (the president) possesses the authority to disclose classified, even top secret, information, there's a separate question of whether he should".

On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans alike expressed concern. Sen.

The information was reliable enough for the U.S.to consider a ban on laptop use during flights as the spy said ISIS would hide the bomb in a laptop US officials believe can get through airport screening machines without being detected.

According to AP, Mr Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence during the meeting with Mr Lavrov.

While not unprecedented, it is a rare privilege for a foreign minister to be granted bilateral talks in the Oval Office with a United States president.

Now, just a few days before Trump's debut on the worldwide stage, he's giving allies new reasons to worry, and potentially putting crucial intelligence-sharing agreements at risk. The scope of that investigation included whether Trump's campaign was linked to the Russian meddling.

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