The controversy over the possible disclosure of Israeli intelligence by President Donald Trump will affect neither overall U.S.-Israeli relations, nor intelligence cooperation, which remains “solid,” a former official of the Mossad, Israel’s external security agency, told reporters during a conference call Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Amnon Sofrin, who headed Mossad’s intelligence directorate, explained that the unwritten rules governing the disclosure of intelligence information are different for foreign intelligence agencies than they are for foreign leaders. Foreign leaders have “the ability and the mandate to make use of information according to their considerations,” Sofrin said. Still, he should “ask his people about the sensitivity of this information.”
“The cooperation between the two organizations is so solid that I don’t believe that such an event will cause any big damage,” Sofrin said, regarding the effect Trump’s reported disclosures to the Russians would have on the relations between the intelligence services of the U.S. and Israel. “It may cause a small damage or a local one, but not a disaster.”
Sofrin also expressed doubts whether the news story would affect overall relations between Israel and the United States.
“No, I don’t believe that this will affect, because the bigger, the larger, or the wider picture I think is more important than such a local event,” he said.
A recording of the call is embedded below.
[Photo: AP Archive / YouTube ]