Israeli officials: Trump leak 'our worst fears confirmed'

Unnamed Israeli intelligence officials confirm Israel shared specific intelligence with the U.S. regarding ISIS.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Trump
Netanyahu and Trump
Hezki Baruch

Two Israeli intelligence officials confirmed to the American news website BuzzFeed on Tuesday that Israel had shared specific intelligence with the United States regarding Islamic State (ISIS) plots to smuggle explosive laptops onto planes.

The officials told the website that it appeared that that intelligence had been shared with Russia without prior coordination and that this fact was Israel's "worst fears confirmed", according to one of the officers.

"We have an arrangement with America which is unique to the world of intelligence sharing. We do not have this relationship with any other country," the officer, who spoke to BuzzFeed on condition of anonymity, said.

"There is a special understanding of security cooperation between our countries," added that official. "To know that this intelligence is shared with others, without our prior knowledge? That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed."

The comments follow Monday’s report in The Washington Post, which quoted unnamed officials who said that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week.

On Tuesday, The New York Times claimed that Israel was the source of the intelligence that Trump shared with the Russian officials.

Israeli officials refused to comment on that report, and Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, told the newspaper that the two nations would continue to cooperate closely in the field of counter-terrorism.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday would not comment on the report that the information came from Israel, saying only, "We appreciate the relationship that we have with Israel and appreciate the exchange of information that we have with them."

Trump responded to the reports via his Twitter account on Tuesday, saying, "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 noted that the information he shared with the Russian foreign minister is connected to the fight against terrorism and to air security.

Spicer backed those comments later on Tuesday, telling reporters, "The president can always discuss common threats or common issues with other heads of government or other government officials as he deems appropriate to tackle the threats our country faces."

The Israeli officials who spoke to BuzzFeed said there has already been a push to stop sharing Israel's most sensitive intelligence with Trump's White House, but Israel's political echelons have insisted the intelligence-sharing continue.