The White House would not comment on the source
Israel expressed confidence in the nation's relationship with the US
Israeli intelligence was a source for some of the information on ISIS bomb-making capabilities that President Donald Trump discussed with Russian diplomats, US and diplomatic officials told CNN.
The White House would not comment on Israel being the source.
Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, also would not comment on the intelligence – but expressed confidence in the nation’s relationship with the US.
“Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump,” Dermer said.
On Monday, reports emerged that Trump shared highly classified information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, in an Oval Office meeting last week.
Trump reportedly disclosed details about how ISIS aims to use laptops as bombs on planes, though the President apparently did not directly reveal the source of the information.
As the White House scrambled to mitigate the fallout from the report, which drew criticism from both sides of the aisle, National security adviser H.R. McMaster said on Tuesday that Trump’s behavior at last week’s meeting was “wholly appropriate.”
“The premise of that article is false, that in any way the president had a conversation that was inappropriate or that resulted in any kind of lapse in national security,” McMaster said at the White House.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Tuesday that he can’t comment on whether the Israelis were the source of the information Trump reportedly shared with the two Russian officials.
“I cannot comment specifically on that,” Spicer said.
But the press secretary said he was “pleased” with Israel’s assurances of confidence in its intelligence-sharing relationship with the Trump administration.
“I am obviously pleased to see Ambassador Dermer’s comment,” he said, adding later that the White House “appreciates” the comment.
“That being said, I am not going to comment any further on that,” Spicer added.
Other countries, including Arab allies, also supplied some intelligence that drove the US to impose restrictions on laptops and other electronics on flights from 10 countries in the region.
The New York Times was first to report Israel was an intelligence source.