The decision by President Trump to share sensitive intelligence with the Russians that was provided by Israel has created another flap for the administration. Trump reportedly told the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about an ISIS plot to attack airplanes using laptops.
That intelligence was provided to Washington via the Israelis and according to one former senior Israeli intelligence official and recruiter of assets for Israel’s Shin Bet security service has put the relationship between the US and Israeli intelligence services “in crisis”.
The revelation that Israel was the ally who provided the intelligence that Trump passed on to now threatens a diplomatic crisis with a longtime ally.
“Trump has made a crisis between Israeli intelligence and American intelligence,” the former official and recruiter tells Newsweek by phone. (He asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.)
The Israeli government tells Newsweek Trump’s visit to the country, in which he plans to revive the moribund peace process, will go ahead as planned. “We have a schedule, we have a plan and everything is going ahead, absolutely,” says Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesperson for the foreign ministry, speaking over the phone from Israel.
But that trip could now become much more awkward. Some Israeli officials speaking to Newsweek were cautious about how the leak would affect relations, emphasizing its severity but unable to predict how the situation would play out between the allies.
Trump and Netanyahu spoke on the phone but according to Israeli sources, the conversation had to do with just Trump’s upcoming trip to Israel, which is still on. Israeli officials say the upcoming meeting between to the leaders could be awkward. And although Trump claims that no sources or methods were discussed, the Israelis differ.
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Photo courtesy Haaretz