We Knew This in January

Hau Dinh/AP

We’re seeing a lot of coverage today of reports that US intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts to be careful sharing information with Donald Trump because he might be compromised by the Russians. This is not new information. Indeed, it is an example of just how much and how early we’ve known about the crisis in the White House, with still relatively little attention being given to the fact of it.

This news was first reported in January in the Israeli press – and not just in the Israeli press but in the English language Israeli press, so readily accessible in the United States. Indeed, a number of publications including TPM picked up this news at the time. Here’s a January 13th post of mine excerpting a key passage from the English language version of Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. The unnamed top US intelligence official told his Israeli intelligence counterparts that Vladimir Putin had ‘leverages of pressure’ over then President-Elect Trump and that they should be cautious giving him or those working for him sensitive intelligence because it might end up in the hands of the Iranians.

This shouldn’t surprise us. Again, we had this report in January. But as explained a couple weeks ago (sub req.), everything that has happened in the subsequent 10 months suggests that “President Trump is still, in effect, being blackmailed by Russia.”

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