Trump’s Slip To Russia Endangers Life of Israeli Intelligence Officer

The day after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the president met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. That meeting, according to multiple news agencies, led the president to reveal highly classified information to the Russians and that information jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. On Tuesday, former Mossad director, Danny Yatom, weighed in on the disclosure to the Jerusalem Post.

As to whether the president did release the information, Yatom stated, “I don’t know from where, I don’t know if it was from Israel,” but “if someone gives the US very sensitive information…it is prohibited to give the information to a third party – for sure not to Russia who has ties with Iran and Syria.” The former Mossad director also stated, “The fact that you have very high quality sensitive intelligence can lead to revealing the source. Very few people in ISIS may know about this information. Once it is publicized, ISIS can do an investigation and find the source,” Yatom said adding “or Russia can find the source.”

ABC News is also reporting that the information that the president shared came from one of Israel’s spies. The spy who allegedly supplied the information can now be in real danger. Israel only agreed to pass on the spy’s findings to the US on the condition that the individual remained anonymous. The information pertained to an ISIS plot to bring down airliners using laptop bombs. Israel would not have wanted their information shared with Russia or may end up sharing it with Syria.

President Trump though, defended his decision to share the information on Twitter stating that, “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” he wrote on social media. Trump also said his decision was based on “humanitarian reasons” and an effort to get the Kremlin to “greatly step up” its fight against the Islamic State group.

President Trump did not break the law discussing the information with Russia but if anyone else had done it would have been an illegal act. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law. H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting defended the president stating “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.” Yet, Yatom said this could be a ‘grave violation’ of intelligence sharing protocol if it’s true and could lead to harm to the source.

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