The casualness in how President Trump treats classified information has alarmed national security experts, who fear that the President doesn’t grasp the seriousness of information that he is supposed to be protecting.
“We have to understand that breaches like this will get Americans killed eventually, said former CIA case officer Robert Baer to CNN, “there’s no better way to put it.” He continued, “[Speaking] as a former case officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, getting a source inside the Islamic State (Isis) is almost impossible. We rely on our allies whether it’s Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel to get inside these groups. They’re closer. This is part of their world. To lose these sources, to lose these liaison services is a catastrophe.” (Mr. Baer said the same thing after Mr. Trump blamed British intelligence for spying on him)
The President has pushed back against assertions that he did anything wrong. On Twitter, Mr. Trump claimed that he had the absolute right to declassify at will, which is correct. The question for the President is should he have leaked this information not could he have.
Some have claimed that Mr. Trump leaked the Israeli intelligence during a fit of braggadocio while speaking to the Russians, allegedly saying something to the effect (paraphrasing), that he had “the best intelligence.’ This need for praise, regardless of the source, critics suggest, could lead to allies shutting off intelligence sources to the U.S., as some suspect is happening now.