COMMON SENSE FROM SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Seth J. Frantzman writes for the Jerusalem Post

Here are excerpts from his latest commentary, in which he discusses Donald Trump’s supposed disclosure of highly classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister.

I apologize for anyone who finds the amount of common sense he is offering to be offensive:

The life of a spy placed by Israel inside ISIS is at risk tonight,” ABC News reported on Tuesday.

The latest allegations is that US President Donald Trump leaked, or passed, information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting last Wednesday. But if a spy working for Israel and privy to the latest ISIS plots is now at risk, where is the anger from Jerusalem? Instead there is a wall of silence in Israel that could convey real concern, but could also indicate that this US scandal is not rocking the intelligence services the way it is being portrayed.

The initial report came in The Washington Post on May 15, with explosive claims that “according to current and former US officials,” Trump had disclosed intelligence that “jeopardized a critical source.” The New York Times quoted “current and former American government official[s]” as well, perhaps the same ones. “Trump discussed contents of the intelligence, not the sources and methods.”

Then Israel entered the picture this Tuesday. “According to current and a former American official…, the classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel,” wrote the Times. A caveat: “Israeli officials would not confirm they were the source.” There the story ends, there is no new information and the hundreds of reports on this story all go back to the same current and former officials.

What if the stories about a spy’s life “hanging in the balance” are exaggerated? The laptop ban on flights from Middle Eastern countries went into effect in March and a possible European ban is being discussed. The agent discovered the laptop plot months ago; why is his or her life only threatened now? This old intel was already shared with Middle Eastern and European states, and the Russians know as well.

If the laptop spy is not what Trump passed on, what are these sources talking about? 

When media rely on anonymous sources with unclear or exaggerated access, we are left with more questions than answers.

Count on the buzzards circling 1600 Pennsylvania to ignore every word.

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