Intel Trump Shared With Russia Came From Israel

Posted May 17, 2017

A senior U.S. official told AP that Trump shared details about an Islamic State terror threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, said it's disturbing that Trump discussed any intelligence with officials from Russian Federation, a country under investigation by USA authorities over allegations it interfered with last year's presidential election by hacking Democratic political organizations.

We should be abundantly clear at the outset: President Donald Trump's reported disclosure of classified ISIS intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office last week isn't a crime. He named former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey Director James Comey as among those he asked.

In a pair of Tuesday morning tweets, Trump said "as President I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety, Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism". The president had been engaging in "routine sharing" with foreign leaders, he said, arguing that some of the information was publicly available.

The Americans implied that their Israeli colleagues should "be careful" as of January 20, Trump's inauguration date, when transferring intelligence information to the White House and to the National Security Council (NSC), which is subject to the president.

There was no decision made in advance to release the information, he said.

At the time of the aforementioned report, the fear was that Trump would either purposefully or accidentally share any intelligence with Russian Federation, who in turn could hand it over to Iran.

The president's revelation of information to Russian Federation does not mean he has declassified the material he discussed, analysts said.

Even though the White House insists that sources and methods were not revealed, a source says, "You don't have to specifically reveal the source to compromise the source".

The euro surged more than 1 percent against the dollar on Tuesday, rising to its highest since Trump was elected president in November.

Illinois' U.S. senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats, also tweeted about the reports on Trump's alleged leak.

"(The story about Trump and Russia) probably is playing out as a weaker dollar on the view that Trump may not be around long enough to deliver his tax reform, which is at least partially priced into the dollar", said RBC Capital Markets currency strategist Adam Cole, in London.

The conversation will take place amid a report by The Washington Post that Trump revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials at a meeting last week, putting a source of intelligence about the Islamic State extremist group at risk.

Democrats pointed out that Ryan had called for Democrat Hillary Clinton to be denied classified briefings after Comey concluded a year ago that she was careless in how she handled classified information over her email accounts. The FBI concluded after an investigation past year that there were no grounds to pursue any charges against Clinton.

The disclosures about the Oval Office meeting came as Trump prepares for his first foreign trip - a multi-stop itinerary that will take him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bethlehem in the West Bank, and the Vatican, as well as Brussels for European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings and back to Italy for a gathering of the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies.

The White House message on this story is that the controversy is overblown. Coming days before Trump's first trip overseas, it also raised questions about his standing with world leaders and led some countries to start second-guessing their own intelligence-sharing agreements with the U.S.

Trump himself claimed the authority to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation, saying in a pair of tweets he has "an absolute right" as president to do so.

That meant there were suddenly more quips from Republicans on Capitol Hill about Trump than compliments.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo is due to brief the committee later. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that's happening".

At the White House, Trump said in his tweets, "I wanted to share with Russian Federation (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts terrorism and airline flight safety".

But political and legal experts said this latest misstep is among the most egregious so far of Trump's presidency.