Reports: Highly Classified Info Trump Shared With Russia Came From Israel

FILE - in this Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 file photo, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump and Netanyahu said at their first joint news conference that they will seize what they believe is an opportunity for an ambitious Israeli-Arab peace deal. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

The highly classified information President Donald Trump shared with top Russian diplomats last week was provided to the United States by Israel, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Times cited two unnamed U.S. officials, one current and one former, who it described as “familiar with how the United States obtained the information.”

NBC News, citing three unnamed government officials, later confirmed that Israel was the source of the intelligence. And two unnamed Israeli intelligence officials confirmed as much to Buzzfeed. One of them said Israeli intelligence officers were “boiling mad and demanding answers.”

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Trump had shared highly classified information on an Islamic State plot with the Russian ambassador to the United States and the Russian foreign minister.

The U.S. officials, the Times reported, said “at least some of the details that the United States has about the plot came from the Israelis.”

The Post reported Monday that the source of the intelligence, which it did not name, “has previously voiced frustration with Washington’s inability to safeguard sensitive information related to Iraq and Syria.”

On Tuesday, one unnamed senior European intelligence official told the Associated Press that his country might stop sharing intelligence with the United States if it confirmed that Trump had shared classified information with Russia.

Trump admitted on Twitter Tuesday that he shared certain “facts” with Russia — undercutting his own administration’s talking points. And National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster did not deny in a press briefing Tuesday that Trump had shared classified information provided to the U.S. by an ally.

In the waning days of the Obama administration, Israeli outlets reported in January, American intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts to use caution when sharing intelligence with the Trump administration. Haaretz reported that concerns included “suspicions of unreported ties between President-elect Donald Trump, or his associates, and the government of Vladimir Putin in Moscow.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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