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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference announcing Alexander Acosta as the new Labor Secretary nominee in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., February 16, 2017.Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Making Sense of the U.S.-Russia-Israel News

Intelligence leaks in Washington; Israel as a source of top-level U.S. intel; and Trump’s visit to the Western Wall, which the president’s aide reportedly said is ‘part of the West Bank’

by
Jonathan Zalman
May 16, 2017
Mario Tama/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference announcing Alexander Acosta as the new Labor Secretary nominee in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., February 16, 2017.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Following a Monday Washington Post story about President Trump allegedly sharing highly classified information with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador—which the president himself appeared to acknowledge in a series of tweets—The New York Times today reported that Israel was the source for some of that top-level intel. The substance of this information is still somewhat unclear, though The Wall Street Journal is reporting that it could have to do with ISIS’s “ability to build sophisticated explosives that could evade aviation-security measures to be placed on aircraft” according to officials.

Israeli spycraft quite possibly foiled a mass casualty ISIS plot. Trump then burned them to the Russians. That’s where we are. pic.twitter.com/3T3V8fdM6q



— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) May 16, 2017

This story comes a day after a senior member of Trump’s staff, who is a part of the team preparing for the president’s visit to Israel next week, told Israeli officials that the Western Wall is “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank,” according to an Israeli television station. Trump plans to visit the Kotel, which would make him the first U.S. president to ever do so. He will reportedly visit the Western Wall without any Israeli leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump trip to Israel becomes more and more fraught by the minute. Anything more sensitive than Kotel, intel sharing? https://t.co/tNFDB7SCYu



— (((Michael Koplow))) (@mkoplow) May 16, 2017

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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