Has Israel Stopped Sharing Intel With the Trump Administration?

Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via ZUMA

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Last night I noted in passing that Donald Trump had casually blabbed about intelligence from overseas allies on two occasions last year. The most important one was when he regaled the Russian ambassador about the intel that led to an alert concerning a potential laptop bomb being smuggled onto an airline. A reader writes to tell me that as bad as this episode was, it was actually far worse:

The US obtained this intelligence from Israel. What is now known to the general public is that Israel had succeeded in placing a listening device in an ISIS safe house deep in Syria, at great risk, and was listening in on everything ISIS was planning from that location. Trump revealed this intelligence to Kislyak and Lavarov during that infamous Oval Office meeting in which he also bragged about firing James Comey the day before. His revelation essentially blew the intelligence operation; the listening device the Israelis had placed went dead shortly after.

A few weeks ago I heard Ronen Bergman speak to a group of about 50 people, mostly Israelis. He is Israel’s leading national security journalist, and recently published an incredible book called Rise and Kill First, a history of the Israeli security services. He wouldn’t get into details about what Trump told the Russians during that Oval Office meeting, but he said it was “much worse” than what is “publicly” known, and that Trump essentially revealed the “crown jewels” of Israeli intelligence operational methods in Syria. He said the Israeli intelligence community is absolutely livid; has come to the conclusion that the administration is “chaotic” and absolutely cannot be trusted with any sensitive information; and will not reveal to the Americans any information unless it doesn’t care whether such information is publicly known. He said this is an absolute sea change from all past administrations both Republican and Democratic. Before this, Israel has always shared without hesitation intelligence information with the US that it doesn’t share with any other country.

When my right-wing Republican Jewish Coalition friends tell me how great Trump is for Israel, it absolutely makes my blood boil, because it’s so demonstrably untrue.

Just another day at the office for the fuckwit-in-chief.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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