US Intel Officials Warn Major Ally Not To Share Secrets With Teflon Don (TWEET)

By now, you know that American intelligence officials told Donald Trump about a suspected Russian effort to compromise him. You also know that for the last 48 hours, Trump and his team have tried–and failed–to denounce coverage of this discovery as fake news. Well, Thursday afternoon brought word that proves beyond any doubt that the American intelligence community is taking this very seriously. They have actually gone as far as to warn at least one of our strongest allies to tread extremely lightly in dealing with the incoming administration. Namely, Israel.

Ynetnews, the English-language edition of Israel’s largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, reports that several American intelligence officials recently warned their Israeli counterparts that they believed Russia had “leverages of pressure” over Trump. For that reason, they strongly recommended that Tel Aviv “be careful” about transferring intelligence information to the White House and the National Security Council once Trump takes office.

According to a number of Israeli intelligence officials who were on hand for the meeting, the Americans told them that they needed to get firm assurances that Trump was not under undue Kremlin influence–whether by way of blackmail or overly cozy connections–before they gave his administration access to important Israeli secrets. Otherwise, the Americans feared that Israeli secrets could make their way to Russia, and possibly to Russia’s longtime ally, Iran.

So far, the only mainstream American media source to pick this up is Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi. When he saw this, he concluded that this was a national security crisis playing out in real time.

“This is an extraordinary story. If our intelligence community really believes this, then playtime is over.”

Taibbi wondered–loudly–why FBI director James Comey and national intelligence chief James Clapper haven’t come forward with more details. He argued are taking the information they received seriously enough that they had to warn one of our longest-standing and most important allies about dealing with Trump, then the American people have the right to know as well. He called for the intelligence community to end the “half-assed whispering campaign” of the last few days and tell us what it knows “before it’s too late”–and protecting sources be hanged.

Taibbi was even more blunt on Twitter.

Daily Kos also picked this up. But so far, nothing so far from the rest of the mainstream press aside from Taibbi’s article.

This story represents what may be the strongest indictment yet of the American press’ shabby job of covering international news. It cannot be overstated–the largest newspaper in Israel, a paper roughly comparable in standing to The New York Times and The Washington Post, reports that American intelligence is worried enough about the prospect of the president-elect being fatally compromised that it felt compelled to alert Israeli intelligence about it.

And yet, apart from Taibbi, it has gotten scarcely a nibble in the American press–even though this is a five-alarm national security crisis in plain sight. I can only agree with Taibbi–if Comey and Clapper were alarmed enough to alert Tel Aviv, they should tell the American people what they know. Promptly.

(featured image courtesy DonkeyHotey, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)


Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.