The God-King can’t resist boasting … even if that means betraying critical secret intelligence. (More)
“I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.”
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”
The Post is justifiably vague about the details, at the request of U.S. intelligence officials. But apparently the discussion included a specific ISIS plot, and the God-King specified the ISIS-controlled city where the intel was gathered. That was likely enough for Russian intelligence to figure out the sources, and U.S. intelligence officers immediately began damage control measures to protect the sources.
And did the God-King reveal that highly-classified information to advance some diplomatic goal? No. He was bragging:
In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.
Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.
There are dozens of stories about this at Memeorandum. Chef put out extra macadamias for fuel, but I couldn’t scurry through all of them. Also, my Blewberry is covered with crumbs. But I do recommend Lawfare’s in-depth analysis of the legal issues, and Eliot Cohen’s analysis at The Atlantic detailing the horrible cost to our intelligence operations.
I’m sure I’ll dive into this dumpster again over the coming days, as the Out House and Republicans crank up the Lie-O-Matic and reporters ferret out more details. But these three links give the basic dimensions of the story …
… namely, that the God-King is an arrogant fool whose ego puts people at risk.
Photo Credit: Joe Lo Scalizo (Getty Images)
Good day and good nuts