WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said during a Monday meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem that he never mentioned Israel during a conversation with Russian officials in which he allegedly shared highly classified information reportedly given to the U.S. from Israeli intelligence.
“I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned during that conversation,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question about whether intelligence-sharing between the two nations has been jeopardized.
An initial report of the president’s May 10 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak from The Washington Post said that the intelligence was garnered from a partner nation, but did not allege that Trump mentioned Israel.
A subsequent New York Times report said that the intelligence was from Israel, but did not claim that Trump shared the origin of the intelligence.
Nevertheless, Trump accused the media of reporting incorrect information.
“They’re all saying I did [mention Israel], so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel,” Trump said.
“Intelligence cooperation is terrific,” Netanyahu said in response to the reporter’s question. “It’s never been better.”
The White House had previously refused to confirm where the information that Trump shared came from.
H.R. McMaster told reporters in a briefing last week that Trump was not briefed on the methods or source of the intelligence.