Liberman: We’ve Worked Out ‘Information Leak’ Issue With U.S.

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman meets with U.S. National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster on Monday in Yerushalayim. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)

In an interview with Army Radio Wednesday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that he had discussed the incident in which President Trump is said to have told Russian officials top-secret information about Islamic State terror plans that had been allegedly culled by an Israeli agent in the field. “We straightened out everything we needed to with our American friends,” Liberman said. “There is no need to continue discussing this matter.”

A New York Times article had named Israel as the source of the classified material, quoting “a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information.” Reports added that Israeli officials were now very concerned that the life of the spy who had obtained the information that President Trump was said to have presented to the Russians was in danger. The information in question is said to have been the basis of an American ban on the use of on-board laptops on flights originating in Middle Eastern countries, according to the report. The spy was said to be investigating a plot by Islamic State to blow up an American airliner using a bomb hidden in a laptop, which American security officials believed could be sneaked through airport security.

“We have excellent cooperation with the United States in the intelligence area, even compared to previous eras. The fact that the U.S. is prepared to cooperate with us on intelligence and in other sensitive areas is without precedent,” said Liberman. “Thus, it would be wise to discuss these things quietly and behind closed doors. We have clarified everything we need to clarify and come to the conclusions we need to come to.”

During his visit to Israel, President Trump was also asked about the incident, and in response he said that when he discussed the matter with Russian officials, he never mentioned Israel as being the source of the information. If Israel was named as the source of the information, it was not by him, the president added.