The spy had provided Israel with intelligence about an Islamic State, or ISIS, plan to cause the crash of a passenger jet on the way to the United States. Israel had shared the intelligence with the United States on the condition that it not be identified as the source of the information, ABC reported citing unnamed current and former U.S. officials.
According to the intelligence, the undetectable bomb was to be hidden in a laptop, which has led to the U.S. considering banning all laptops on flights from Europe to the U.S. The U.S. already bans laptops on flights from 10 airports in the Middle East.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump revealed the intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.N. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in an Oval Office meeting last week.
At a news briefing Tuesday, H.R. McMaster, the president’s top security adviser, discussed the meeting between Trump and the Russian diplomats, in which he took part.
“In the context of that discussion, 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,” McMaster said.
Trump said in a tweet Tuesday that he had “the absolute right” to share information and that he had wanted to show good faith so that the Russians would “greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”
In January, an Israeli newspaper reported that American intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts not to share sensitive information with the Trump administration because of the threat that it could be leaked to Russia.
On Wednesday, Yediot Acharonot cited an unnamed Israeli intelligence source as saying that Israel will have to reassess what information it shares with the United States, and not hand over the most sensitive of it.