The Washington Post found that president Trump revealed ‘highly classified information’ to two Russian officials visiting the White House last week. The intelligence leak sparked new concerns in the heart of U.S. allies over how much the Trump White House should be trusted with some of the most sensitive national security secrets in the world.
Trump’s Intelligence Leak Worry European Allies
On Wednesday, Trump gave significant details on an ISIS plot to two senior Russian officials he had called to the White House a day after FBI Director James Comey’s firing. The U.S. spy community had the info from a U.S. partner, but the White House did not have the authorization from the source to share the state secret with Russia.
This is what Europeans have been worrying about,
told one unnamed source to The Post.
The scandal broke out just days before the U.S president goes on a trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Vatican. Afterwards he will be meeting with some of the U.S.’ strongest partners in Europe during a NATO summit in Brussels. Some of the foreign leaders Trump will meet with lead countries that had struck intelligence-sharing partnerships with Washington.
Trump’s relationship with domestic spies agencies isn’t particularly cozy. On various occasions, he cast a shade of doubt on the competence of U.S. intelligence officials. He even accused them of leaking classified info to the press and challenged their charges that Russia has helped him win the presidential election.
According to The Post, the U.S. leader leaked to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the controversial Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak classified details about the Islamic State’s plot to turn laptop computers into bombs on U.S. aircraft.
The White House jumped to the president’s defense saying that Trump did not disclose the name of the source of the information or the methods used to acquire the intelligence. Trump’s spokespersons did not deny that he leaked classified info to the Russian officials last Wednesday.
Middle East Allies Expected to Give Trump a Warm Welcome
Trump’s incoming overseas trip was designed to get Trump out of the scandals currently dogging the White House. His allies in Saudi Arabia will likely give him a warm welcome. The Arabs praised his decision to bomb a Syrian airbase in April. Trump will also be welcomed by Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes Trump will be a more reasonable ally than his predecessor Barack Obama.
European allies, however, are not that eager to meet with Trump. They expressed skepticism about Washington’s policies and Trump’s controversial travel ban that is now stalled in U.S. courts. Plus, the U.K. and Germany are worried that Trump is getting too close to the Russians, and the latest intelligence gaffe can only add fuel to that speculation.
In addition, the way the Trump White House handled the FBI Director James Comey’s firing while the bureau was in the midst of a Russia probe can only make U.S. allies even more nervous.
Image Source: White House.gov