President Donald Trump’s loose lips may have caused irreparable harm to U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
Monday night, Washington Post shared a report alleging Trump shared highly sensitive information about the fight against ISIS with Russia Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when the two met with the president in the White House last week.
The information communicated “jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State,” and compromised the location of the foreign spy or spies, who had infiltrated a terrorist base. It is not being revealed who the key partner was but enough information about the nature of the source was imparted to Russia that they can easily identify which U.S. ally has provided that intel. That’s problematic because the intelligence capability could be useful for other purposes like providing information on Russia’s presence in Syria (where it has competing agendas with the United States). If Putin finds out who it is, he can disrupt its functions.
The information was so critical that it was not shared with the United States’ other allies, let alone Russia.
Trump’s decision to do so may have sabotaged their plans to get access to the inner workings of ISIS. It can also threaten the safety of the spies who found the information in the first place.
Somewhere out there, someone who risked his/her life to help the Coalition is probably scared to death right now.— JP-8 (@counterjihader) May 16, 2017
It also breaches the trust that is essential to sharing secrets so it is more than likely, the next time an American partner learns intel about a terror plot, it would keep that critical piece of information to itself.
And that could seriously undermine the United States national security.