Former Israeli spymasters rip into Trump, say Israel must reassess intel sharing


Former head of the Mossad, Shabtai Shavit, attends a press conference organized by ‚Commanders for Israel’s Security‘ in Tel Aviv on January 15, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Ex-Mossad head Shavit: US president is like a ‘bull in a china shop… If tomorrow I were asked to pass information to the CIA, I would do everything I could to not pass it to them’

By Judah Ari Gross | The Times of Israel

A former chief of the Mossad spy agency fired off harsh criticism at Donald Trump in an interview with The Times of Israel on Wednesday, saying his actions put international information-sharing efforts at risk, in light of reports that the US president divulged classified intelligence to Russia last week. And a second former head of the agency said in a radio interview that Israel should punish Trump over the affair.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials worked to cool tensions with promises of continued security cooperation.

Shabtai Shavit, who led the Mossad in the 1990s, said that were he in charge of the intelligence organization today, he would not be inclined to share more information with his American counterparts.

“If tomorrow I were asked to pass information to the CIA, I would do everything I could to not pass it to them. Or I would first protect myself and only then give it, and what I’d give would be totally neutered,” Shavit told The Times of Israel in a phone interview.

“If some smart guy decides that he’s allowed to leak information, then your partners in cooperation will be fewer or just won’t be at all,” he warned.

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Trump revealed “code word”-level intelligence — one of the highest levels of secrecy in the US — during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak earlier this month.

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