The Israeli daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, reported today (Jan. 12) that Israeli intelligence officials are worried about sharing sensitive information with their counterparts in the Trump administration.
They believe the information could be leaked to Russia and then shared by the Kremlin with Israel’s arch enemy in the Middle East–Iran, investigative reporter Ronen Bergman reported.
American intelligence officials reportedly expressed “despair” over Trump’s election during a recent meeting with Israeli counterparts, Bergman reported.
The concerns were prompted by an extensive intelligence dossier published this week that revealed close ties between Trump, his campaign operatives and Putin’s intelligence agency, the FSB.
A former British MI-6 intelligence official prepared the 35-page report, actually a series of memoranda. He was asked by Trump Republican and Democratic political opponents to research Trump’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The author, since identified as Michael Steele, 52, is well-known in U.S. Intelligence circles and considered a credible source. U.S. agencies are taking information contained in the report seriously and have shared it with President Obama, Congress members and the president-elect.
While the information appears credible, it has not been verified. Trump and Putin have both denied all of the allegations involving collaboration, spying and blackmail.
Of particular concern to Israeli agents are portions of the report that name former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, campaign adviser Carter Page, retired Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as key players in the collaboration.
Tens of thousands of dollars allegedly changed hands as part of the operation, facilitated by Russian emigres in the United States and Russian diplomats.
The documents also claims Trump has been gathering and providing detailed intelligence to the Putin government on the activities of Russian oligarchs in the United States, in effect, operating as a Russian agent.
Because of the alleged ties, Israeli officials its methods of operation and intelligence sources could be compromised if the information is shared with the Trump administration, the Jewish newspaper Haaretz reported.
Israeli intelligence officials are also taking seriously allegations that Putin has over Trump what were termed “leverages of pressure.” The reference is apparently to allegations that Putin holds compromising information on Trump that could be used in a blackmail attempt.
The officials say they were warned by their American counterparts to “be careful” when sharing intelligence information with the White House and the National Security Council after Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20.
The United States and Israel have been close partners in the Middle East, including frequently engaging in joint intelligence operations against Iran and the Iranian sponsored groups Hezbollah and .
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