Published On: Wed, May 17th, 2017

NSA’s McMaster clarifies what Trump did and did not do with ‘sources, methods’ and Russia

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster put his reputation on the line, defending President Trump against the wave of attacks from Democrats and the media after a new Washington Post report. To be clear, McMaster defended the White House against the false reports of a leak, endangering national security or colluding with the Russians.

“I stand by my statement — the premise of the article is false that in any way the president had a conversation that was inappropriate or that resulted in any kind of lapse in national security,” McMaster said Tuesday during a press conference.

While McMaster never actually said what specific part of that “premise” was false, it was clear from the very specific words used to understand how the media has been falsely reporting and covering the Post article.

photo/ donkeyhotey

“Our national security has been put at risk by those violating confidentiality and by those releasing information to the press that could be used and connected with other information available to make American citizens and others more vulnerable,” McMaster said.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.” (Emphasis added, the Dispatch)

According to The Washington Post, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Oval Office last Wednesday, Trump disclosed the location of a source about an ISIS plot involving the use of laptops on airplanes. The move violated the trust of our allies as he acted without consulting them.

From the Post: “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. (Emphasis added, The Dispatch).

“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 bold as added to explain the rub with the intelligence shared.


photo/Islamic State flag

Trump himself claimed the authority to share “facts pertaining to terrorism” and airline safety with Russia, saying in a pair of tweets he has “an absolute right” as president to do so. — ALL OF THAT IS TRUE.

Here’s the tweet: “I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining … to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

The U.S. official said that Trump boasted about his access to classified intelligence in last week’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak. An excerpt from an official transcript of the meeting reveals that Trump told them, “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” he said.

So, note the language: McMaster said “no intelligence sources or methods” were discussed – the Post article never asserts that happened.

What Trump did was violate the trust with a U.S. partner by sharing it with Russia without their permission and possibly, just possibly, jeopardizing the source itself, who may/may not be inside of Islamic State.

“I need to tell you how much effort we put in order to keep our assets safe. You are trying to keep someone alive and safe, and he is working within the ISIS population, which is not really a summer camp. And now the American president is putting [this person at] risk,” an Israeli intelligence official said in a Newsweek article, speculating that it could be a human source within ISIS territory that has been compromised.

Yaakov Amidror, former head of Israel’s National Security Council and national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says the breach is inexcusable. “If this country loses the asset, it’s a very bad consequence to a mistake he made. No question and no one can defend it, because it’s very, very hard to have assets in such organizations,” says Amidror. (Emphasis added, The Dispatch).

“The basics between an asset and a handler is the fact that you always do the maximum to keep him safe,” the former spy stated in that same article. “[In Trump] you see someone that doesn’t understand intelligence. He’s an egomaniac and he thinks he knows best. He is a narcissist and really just a careless person who doesn’t understand how much those people risk their lives to keep us all safe.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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