Trump, Netanyahu confirm phone call, say Russia brouhaha not discussed

by WorldTribune Staff, May 17, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s reported release of classified information to Russia, that may have come from Israel, was not discussed in a 20-minute phone conversation Trump had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 17, a report said.

“The conversation dealt with a few issues that needed to be concluded regarding President Trump’s visit to Israel,” a senior Israeli official told Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz, adding that the subject of intelligence leaks “did not come up.”

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 17. / Flash90

According to the Haaretz report, Trump on May 17 spontaneously called Netanyahu just after the U.S. president’s pre-scheduled call to Jordan’s King Abdullah II ended.

Though neither the Prime Minister’s Office nor the White House publicized the call, Netanyahu’s office did confirm afterwards that it took place.

Reports from U.S. media this week claimed Trump gave classified information to Russia. The New York Times reported the information was provided by Israel.

Israeli officials refused to comment on the report that it was Israeli intelligence which was shared with Russia.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, wrote to the New York Times that Israel and the United States would continue to cooperate closely in the field of counter-terrorism.

“Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the U.S., and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump,” Dermer told the Times