When President Donald Trump met with Russian officials in May, shortly after firing former FBI director James Comey, it seemed improper. The subsequent discovery of Trump’s release of classified information to the Russians caused concern. Recently, further details regarding that Israeli information revealed a disturbing reality.
Trump gave Israeli intelligence to its geopolitical enemies.
Before Trump’s inauguration, Israel received cryptic warnings from the Obama administration.
According to a Vanity Fair report, Israeli intelligence and Mossad met with American officials at Langley, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters. Following a usually routine exchange of classified information, an American official released a critical warning: U.S. intelligence agencies believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had “leverages of pressure” on Trump.
Additionally, American officials said Israel should “be careful” after Trump begins his term. They warned he might give sensitive intelligence to Russia. Before ending, officials stated the information would reach Russian ally, Iran.
Langley did not provide any hard evidence. As a result, higher ranking Israeli officials chose to disregard American warnings.
Iran is allied with other forces in the region. By sharing intelligence with Russia, Trump gave critical information to Israeli enemies: Hezbollah and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
In May, Trump met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and former Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak at the White House. Curiously, they prevented American journalists from attending the closed-door meeting. However, the president allowed Russian state-run media, TASS, entrance.
In March, CNN reported current and former senior U.S. officials believed Kislyak one of Russia’s top espionage agents. Furthermore, the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Muller associated possible non-disclosed meetings between Kislyak, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump admitted he fired Comey for investigating ties between himself and Russia. NBC anchor Lester Holt asked why he fired Comey during an interview, and the president said:
“…This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.”
He took full accountability for the decision.
Despite seemingly illicit ties, Trump still met with the Russians. According to information shared by the New York Times with Vanity Fair, Trump leaked the classified intelligence during this meeting.
As stated by Israeli intelligence operations experts, Sayeret Matkal commandos, Israel’s counterterrorism force, and Mossad agents ran a successful espionage operation within Syrian territory. Using well-placed surveillance equipment, the Israelis compromised an ISIS cell. As a result, they ascertained critical information.
Al-Qaeda bombmaker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, developed a method to turn a laptop computer into a bomb that could pass through airport security undetected.
A mindful president might have restricted the intelligence to the overall nature of the threat or withheld it. Instead, Trump decided to reveal specific operational details to the Russians. This included the name of the ISIS-held city where Israel conducted the surveillance.
Consequently, U.S. national security interests paid the price.
Israel decided to take more caution in future exchanges with the U.S. government. A prominent Israeli journalist told the New York Times:
“Mr. Netanyahu’s intelligence chiefs…are up in arms.“
Israeli intelligence sources indicated that:
“…Certain units from now on will whiten their reports before passing them on to agencies in America.”
Trump’s actions produced reduced cooperation with allied intelligence agencies. Once the White House proved to be incapable of keeping it’s ally’s intelligence secure, its ability to keep America’s interests safe increased in difficulty.
At very least, one could dismiss this dangerous action as typical bravado originating from a president whose ego has not seen a twitter battle below the dignity of his office.
At worst, the pattern of unusual circumstances eventually proves the sitting U.S. president a compromised actor for Russian national interests.
Featured Image Via YouTube Video.