It can be difficult to keep up with all of Trump’s myriad scandals and controversies, especially over the last week or so, but one that truly stood out last week was the revelation that Trump had blabbed about highly classified information to the Russians. The information in question regarded an Islamic State plot and the information’s not-technically-illegal “declassification” may have put an Israeli source in danger. Trump was specifically asked by Israel to not reveal this information to anybody, but, of course, Trump did exactly that. These controversial revelations put a pall over Trump’s then-upcoming world tour where he intended to visit with Israel.
So today—during his visit to Israel—Trump apparently felt inclined to put some questions about his declassification to rest. In response to some impromptu questioning during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, Trump out of nowhere exclaimed that: “[he] never mentioned the word or the name Israel.”
Trump’s statement points to a profound misunderstanding of how conversations work. Trump may not have said the literal word “Israel,” but it is widely assumed that he gave enough information for the Russians to discover the source on their own. It’s as if Trump refused to tell us his favorite food, but still described the meal as involving a massive slab of well-cooked meat smothered in ketchup. It wouldn’t take the brightest minds of the KGB to discover that Trump was referring to his child-like fascination with chewy steak.
Thankfully, it appears Trump mostly doesn’t pay attention during intelligence briefings, so future leaks seem at least somewhat unlikely.
Check out a tweet recapping the incident above.