McMaster Doubles Down On Defending Trump's Conversation With Russians

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 17, 2017

The officials told the Times that Israeli authorities previously urged the Trump administration to be careful about how it handled the highly sensitive information.

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.

According to The Post, however, the intelligence related to potential ISIS attacks aboard aircrafts came from a USA partner nation that had not authorized it to be shared with Russian Federation. The ally reportedly hadn't given permission to share the intel. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters as the news broke Monday evening that the Trump White House is "in a downward spiral" and has "got to do something soon to bring itself under control and order". "The story that came out tonight as reported is false", McMaster said - not elaborating on which elements were "false". Comey said he replied that "I agree he is a good guy" but said nothing to Trump about limiting the investigation. The seriousness of Trump's alleged intelligence disclosure prompted criticism from some Republicans. Sen. One can only imagine how exhausted and furious Republican lawmakers are getting about all of the drama, controversy, and utter nonsense coming from the White House, torpedoing their legislative agenda. He wasn't briefed on the source or method of the information either.

But the press secretary said he was "pleased" with Israel's assurances of confidence in its intelligence-sharing relationship with the Trump administration. Both the occupation and the settlements are illegal under global law. President Erdogan opposes the US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The resolution passed 14-0.

But the New York Times reports at least some of the details came from Israeli intelligence.

Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told ABC that the "careless" handling of sensitive information by Trump and his team would "inevitably cause elements of Israel's intelligence service to demonstrate more caution".

HORSLEY: But after that meeting, the president's own counterterrorism adviser was reportedly concerned enough he alerted US intelligence agencies about what the president had said.

Two American officials confirmed this news, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Israel captured the site of the Western Wall, along with the rest of East Jerusalem, during the 1967 war against its Arab neighbors and their allies, and has illegally occupied it ever since.

The row comes just days before Trump is to visit Israel on the first overseas trip of his presidency. President Donald Trump 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.

According to U.S. and diplomatic officials, Israeli intelligence was a source for some of the information about ISIS bomb-making capabilities that the President discussed with Russian diplomats.

"The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation", said H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser. "At no time - at no time - were intelligence sources or methods discussed".

McMaster told reporters everything discussed in that meeting was already publicly available. When pressed at the briefing as to why the Central Intelligence Agency and NSA were contacted following the Oval Office meeting - what officials familiar with the matter said was an act of damage control - if nothing was amiss, McMaster suggested the White House might be exercising "an overabundance of caution".

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