United States security adviser: Trump did not cause lapse in national security

Jerome Frank
May 18, 2017

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the President engaged in "routine sharing of information" and nothing more.

To Trump and his aides, his disclosure in the unusual Oval Office meeting, a revelation first reported by the Washington Post, was just the latest damaging leak to the media that they blame on intelligence officials.

Yesterday (May 15), it was reported that Donald Trump leaked classified intelligence about an ISIS plot involving laptops on airplanes during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at the White House.

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 USA election into an ally.

Suspicion of the Russians runs so deep in the U.S. administration that even a hint of liaison with them is frowned upon.

"Well, I think to presume that - I mean, that conversation is still private, and to just assume what was and wasn't discussed would not be accurate. They're our adversaries. I am troubled that the president during this very contentious time is meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador at the White House", Collins said. "He wasn't briefed on the source and method of the information either", McMaster told reporters. Two other senior officials who were present, including the Secretary of the State, remember the meeting the same way and have said so.

The New York Times reported later that Israel was the source that shared with USA spy agencies the sensitive intelligence materials.

It wasn't clear whether the intelligence was collected by an informant inside Islamic State or a surveillance device, but intelligence officials fear the source may be blown by now. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.”.

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However, Collins disputed the wisdom of revealing information. Still, it will only heighten Trumps strained relations with intelligence workers and former officials, who view Russian Federation as an adversary. It's unclear whether the USA informed the Israelis it might share the information with the Russians, who have different allies in the region - notably Iran.

The disclosure rocked the administration as it struggled to move past the backlash over Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, whose agency was investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

President Trump should turn back into bloviating entertainment star Donald Trump if he obstructed justice in the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

"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. The US shares a "unique" intelligence-sharing arrangement with Israel - which could be damaged by Mr Trump's actions.

It's also imperative that Congress get to the bottom of the new allegations of attempted meddling with Comey, which could turn out to be definitive evidence that Trump tried to influence the Justice Department and FBI investigation into links between his associates and Russian Federation.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans alike expressed concern. Sen.

The White House is in a "downward spiral" and needs to do something to get "under control", Republican Senator Bob Corker said following the Post report.

They included a surprise encounter between reporters and Trump's top national security adviser and an attempt to drown out conversations with a blaring television.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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