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Israel provided intelligence Donald Trump shared with Russians: report

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-05-2017 Lalit K Jha

Washington: The classified intelligence US President Donald Trump divulged to Russian officials last week was provided by Israel, a media report said on Wednesday.

“The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to an episode that has renewed questions about how the White House handles sensitive intelligence,” The New York Times said.

The White House refused to comment on the report. “I cannot comment specifically on that,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during an off- camera news conference.

However, Israel came out in support of the White House. “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,” Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, said in a statement to The New York Times.

US National Security advisor Lt General H R McMaster asserted that Trump’s sharing of information with Russia did not risk national security. “What the President shared was wholly appropriate. The story combined what was leaked with other information and the insinuated about sources and methods,” he said.

McMaster said Trump took the decision on sharing information during the conversation with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov last week when they were discussing fight against the Islamic State. “He made the decision in the context of the conversation, which was wholly appropriate...The President was meeting with the foreign minister about the terrorist threat. He’d also raised some difficult issues: what we expected in terms of different behaviour from Russia in key areas like Ukraine, and in Syria,” he said. PTI

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