U.S. officials diverge over extent of damage from Trump’s conversation with Russians
WASHINGTON - The classified information that President Donald Trump shared with Russian officials last week came from an Israeli source described by multiple U.S. officials as the most valuable source of information on external plotting by Islamic State.
These officials, who are privy to intelligence about the terrorist group’s efforts, said the source of information was particularly valuable for tracking Islamic State’s attempts to place explosive devices on commercial airplanes.
However, the officials disagree over how much damage Mr. Trump may have caused to counterterrorism efforts by discussing information gleaned from Israel with the Russians during an Oval Office meeting last week.
One official said now that the Russians are aware of the source, there is greater risk the source could be compromised in some way. That makes it less likely that the intelligence community will trust future information, the official said.
But another official doubted that the Russians would be able to identify the nature of the source based on Mr. Trump’s statements, though Moscow might learn more about where in Syria the intelligence was coming from.
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