Trump's Russia Intel Disclosure Risks Life Of Israeli Spy Within ISIS

Diplomats, former intelligence officials and senior politicians said Trump's attitude could make allies less willing to share their secrets with the United States, and render U.S. spy chiefs less able to provide the White House with crucial security information.

"The question is simply a yes or no question here: Did the president share classified information with the Russians in that meeting?"

H.R. McMaster, who is Trump's national security adviser, insisted on Tuesday that Trump's revelations to Russian officials about the terrorist threat from the Islamic State group were "wholly appropriate" and amounted to a routine sharing of information.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he would not comment on the reports.

The Post story did not claim that Trump revealed any specific information about how the intelligence was gathered, as McMaster's denial suggested. "Risking sources and methods is inexcusable, particularly with the Russians".

As for Comey, whom Trump fired last week, the FBI director wrote in a memo after a February meeting at the White House that the new president had asked him to shut down the FBI's investigation of Flynn and his Russian contacts, said a person who had read the memo.

Trump reportedly relayed information from a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria when meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He said the toxic political environment us making the search for truth that much harder, while undermining public trust.

McMaster also downplayed the significance of the information Trump revealed. "I have people brief me on great intel every day".

United States presidents strive for strong relationships with their top intelligence advisors as soon as they come into office.

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A U.S. administration official confirmed to AFP news agency on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel.

In a statement, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said the partnership between the U.S and Israel was solid. He has without question dealt another blow to US credibility and made other nations justifiably wary of sharing what they know. The US shares a "unique" intelligence-sharing arrangement with Israel - which could be damaged by Mr Trump's actions. However, officials anxious he had given the Russians enough details to be able to identify the source themselves.

It's become a familiar scenario in the crisis-prone Trump White House, where big news breaks fast and the aides paid to respond seem perpetually caught off-guard. "That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed", an Israeli intelligence officer told Buzzfeed.

In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling - and honest - defense of the president: that Mr Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Tuesday that the common threat that the USA and Russian Federation face from ISIS justified the disclosure. European allies have also privately expressed concern.

This latest stumble shows a leader once again indulging his vanity, boasting of his "great intel" and clumsily attempting to curry favor with Russian Federation, in the naive thought that doing so would somehow transform a hardened adversary that hacked the US election into an ally.

There is no evidence that Trump went through any of those calculations before blurting out what is known as code word information - intelligence-speak for information so highly classified it is above top secret, and usually limited to the smallest possible pool.

He said the subsequent leak to the Washington Post meant ISIS now knows what Russian Federation knows.

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