The degree of paranoia within some parts of the US intelligence community about Donald Trump is best illustrated by what seem to be authoritative news reports that US spies have warned their Israeli counterparts against sharing Israeli secrets with Donald Trump’s administration lest it be leaked to the Russians.
The clear implication is that some parts of the US intelligence community do genuinely believe that Trump is somehow under the Kremlin’s control, or that the Kremlin has leverage over him.
The report by Ronen Bergman in Ynetnews reads as follows
Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration as the next president of the United States is causing Israeli intelligence officials to lose sleep as well. Discussions held in closed forums recently raised fears of a leakage of Israeli intelligence top-classified information, clandestine modus oprandi and sources, which have been exposed to the American intelligence community over the past 15 years, to Russia – and from there to Iran.
The cause of concern are the suspicions of unreported ties between the president-elect or his associates and the Kremlin, whose agents are also associated with intelligence officials in Tehran.
These fears, which began upon Trump’s election, grew stronger following a meeting held recently between Israeli and American intelligence officials (the date of the meeting is not mentioned to protect the sources of the report). During the meeting, according to the Israelis who participated in it, their American colleagues voiced despair over Trump’s election, as he often lashes out at the American intelligence community. The American officials also told the Israelis that the National Security Agency (NSA) had “highly credible information” that Russia’s intelligence agencies, the FSB and GRU, were responsible for hacking the Democratic Party (DNC) servers during the elections and leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks, which hurt Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The American officials further added that they believed Russia President Vladimir Putin had “leverages of pressure” over Trump – but did not elaborate. They were apparently referring to what was published Wednesday about embarrassing information collected by the Russian intelligence in a bid to blackmail the president-elect.
The Americans implied that their Israeli colleagues should “be careful” as of January 20, Trump’s inauguration date, when transferring intelligence information to the White House and to the National Security Council (NSC), which is subject to the president. According to the Israelis who were present in the meeting, the Americans recommended that until it is made clear that Trump is not inappropriately connected to Russia and is not being extorted – Israel should avoid revealing sensitive sources to administration officials for fear the information would reach the Iranians.
The warning that any Israeli secrets shared by Israel with the Trump administration might find their way to Tehran via Moscow adds a further twist to the paranoia. The reports incidentally show that parts of the US intelligence community give credence to the contents of the (obviously fake) Trump Dossier.
That these claims are paranoid nonsense can be easily demonstrated. Not only is there no evidence that Donald Trump is either the stooge or a potential blackmail victim of the Kremlin, but Trump campaigned aggressively during the election campaign as a fervid supporter of Israel, and that seems also to be the view of his team. As for the Iranian connection, so far from Trump and his team having any time for Iran, they appear to be strongly hostile to it. The most certain way Moscow could wreck prospects of a detente with a Trump led US would be for it to pass on Israeli secrets it obtained from the US to Tehran.
This report came shortly before a story in the London Times today that US and British intelligence had also exchanged concerns about the security of British secrets shared with the Trump administration
British intelligence has sought reassurance from the CIA that the identity of British agents in Russia will be protected when intelligence is shared, amid concerns about the closeness of Trump’s team to Moscow…….
A US intelligence source said the CIA and other agencies saw Trump as a “hostile actor” who was “very possibly compromised by Russia”. A British intelligence source with extensive transatlantic experience said US spies had labelled Trump and his advisers’ links to the Kremlin “problematic”.
“Until we have established whether Trump and senior members of his team can be trusted, we’re going to hold back,” the source said.
“Putting it bluntly, we can’t risk betraying sources and methods to the Russians.”
This London Times story comes in the same article which claims that Putin and Trump are preparing to meet each other in Reykjavik. As I have already reported, that story has been denounced both the Trump team and the Russians as “100% fake”. However it is likely that this claim of US and British intelligence agencies consulting each other about the “security risk” supposedly coming from Donald Trump is true.
If so then this report, together with the other report of US intelligence service warnings to Israel not to trust secrets to Trump, shows the extent of the descent on the part of some people in the US intelligence community into paranoia and even madness.
If Donald Trump really is the “Siberian candidate” controlled by the Kremlin to the point where there is a serious risk of his passing on Israeli and British and presumably US secrets on to Moscow, then the very last thing his Russian controllers would have allowed him to do during the election was blow his cover by calling for better relations with Moscow. The fact that on the contrary he did so repeatedly during the election is actually the best possible proof that the Russians don’t control him, and that the reason he wants good relations with Moscow is because he genuinely believes that this is best for the USA.
This obvious point is one that the US, British and Israeli intelligence communities seem however unable to see, showing how strongly the paranoia about Trump and Russia has taken hold.