Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel, May 22 2017...
(photo credit: GPO)
President Donald Trump denied on Monday that he mentioned Israel when he met earlier this month with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
Trump reportedly shared sensitive intelligence with the Russians about ISIS, with speculation that the information shared came from Israeli intelligence sources.
"I never mentioned the word or the name Israel," he said before meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the King David Hotel, in response to a question by a reporter. "They are all saying I did, so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel".
Netanyahu told reporters that "intelligence cooperation is terrific, never been better."
Last week, according to a New York Times report, two US officials, one current and one former, said Trump shared the intelligence supplied by Israel in the fight against Islamic State with the Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting earlier this month, which the American press was barred from attending.
Some have argued that Trump committed no wrong-doing, with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster calling Trump's disclosure "wholly appropriate." Value judgements aside, there has yet to be confirmation on the original source of the information, with speculation flying that it could be from Israel or from Jordan.