Yesterday, Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, the conservative legal group started by Pat Robertson, appeared on “Hannity” to discuss the leaks revealing that President Trump gave highly classified information to leading Russian officials while boasting about the quality of the intelligence he receives, as first reported by the Washington Post.
According to Sekulow, Trump’s disclosure was not a problem since the information reportedly came from Israeli intelligence.
Israeli officials, Sekulow said, “do intelligence sharing with guess who? The Russians. So we’re acting as if discussions about issues of, in this case, civilian aviation, are somehow to be not discussed with Russia or the Israelis? That’s absurd.”
Dismissing the Washington Post account as a “fabricated story,” Sekulow said that it was no big deal: “At the end of the day, even if it was true, which it’s not, it would be so what?”
Despite Sekulow’s assertions, Israeli intelligence officers were reportedly “boiling mad” over Trump’s disclosure. The intelligence “was considered so sensitive that the U.S. hadn’t shared it with its closest allies in the so-called Five Eyes group, which includes the U.K. and Canada, the officials said.”
Along with undercutting U.S.-Israeli intelligence sharing, Trump also endangered a spy placed in ISIS by Israel. ABC reports:
The life of a spy placed by Israel inside ISIS is at risk tonight, according to current and former U.S. officials, after President Donald Trump reportedly disclosed classified information in a meeting with Russian officials last week.
The spy provided intelligence involving an active ISIS plot to bring down a passenger jet en route to the United States, with a bomb hidden in a laptop that U.S. officials believe can get through airport screening machines undetected. The information was reliable enough that the U.S. is considering a ban on laptops on all flights from Europe to the United States.
The sensitive intelligence was shared with the United States, officials say, on the condition that the source remain confidential.
“The real risk is not just this source,” said Matt Olsen, the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center and an ABC News contributor, “but future sources of information about plots against us.”
Dan Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, now a senior visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, agreed. In an interview with ABC News, he called the president and his team “careless,” saying that the reported disclosures demonstrate a “poor understanding of how to guard sensitive information.”
Shapiro was most concerned, however, that the president’s move could make Israel think twice about sharing intelligence with the United States, warning that it will “inevitably cause elements of Israel’s intelligence service to demonstrate more caution.”