An Israeli spy planted inside ISIS could lose his life because of President Donald Trump’s disclosure of classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the US last week, according to current and former US officials speaking to ABC News.
The intelligence concerned an active ISIS plot to blow up a passenger plane on its way to the US, with a bomb hidden in a laptop that evades airport screenings. The information was so reliable, that the TSA is now debating a ban on laptops on flights to the US.
As is common in these cases, this critical intelligence was shared with American security agencies on condition that the identity of the source be concealed, but President Trump exposed to his Russian the city in Syria where the information had originated, giving them the basics for identifying and burning the agent.
Former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matt Olsen told ABC News that “the real risk is not just this source, but future sources of information about plots against us.”
Attempting to put out the raging PR firestorm, NSA General H.R. McMasters on Tuesday told the press that Trump had passed on the information in a context whereby “it was wholly appropriate to share what the threat was as a basis for common action and coordination.” But the good general would not reveal whether the president had exposed a friendly spy who is likely on the run at this time.
Later, as if unaware of the firestorm he had started, Trump tweeted on Tuesday that it is his “absolute right” to share “facts” with the Russians. But Olsen does not agree, pointing out that Russia is not a partner of the US in the campaign against ISIS.
In fact, Russia had been taking advantage of the cover of fighting ISIS to bomb pro-Western rebel forces opposed to President Assad, whom the Russians are defending.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday, “This is not normal behavior. This is not how a White House should operate.”