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Trump seems to accidentally confirm Israel was source of intelligence he gave to Russians

The President says he never mentioned 'the word or the name Israel' during a White House meeting with Russian officials 

Alexandra Wilts
Washington DC
Monday 22 May 2017 21:07 BST
Trump: "I never mentioned the word or the name Israel"

Donald Trump appears to have confirmed that Israel was the source of highly sensitive intelligence he gave to Russian officials.

During a press conference in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Trump said he never mentioned “the word or the name ‘Israel’” during a White House meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

“They're all saying I did, so you have another story wrong,” Mr Trump said, referring to the press.

But the President did not deny that some of the classified information he reportedly revealed about an Isis terrorist plot came from Israel. No news publication said that Mr Trump mentioned the name ‘Israel’ during his conversation with Mr Lavrov and Mr Kislyak.

Pundits speculated that Mr Trump’s alleged disclosure of classified intelligence to Russian officials could possible overshadow his first visit to Israel as president.

When Mr Netanyahu was asked if he had any concerns about intelligence cooperation with the US, the Prime Minister responded: “Intelligence cooperation is terrific. It's never been better.”

During a White House press briefing last week, US National Security Adviser HR McMaster said that the President “wasn’t even aware where this information came from“ and ”wasn’t briefed on the sources and methods”.

“What the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he’s engaged,” Mr McMaster said.

In a tweet, Mr Trump said he had the “absolute right” to share facts pertaining to terrorism.

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