Much of the media’s attention this week has been dedicated to fanning the flames on an anonymously sourced report that President Trump revealed national security secrets to Russian officials during a meeting at the White House earlier this month. Top intelligence officials have repeatedly stated that Trump did nothing of the sort, but news outlets are continuing to double down on these claims.
While much of the media breathlessly doubles down on unnamed reports which have been denied by top officials present at the meeting in question, let’s take a minute to remember all the times the Obama administration leaked secrets in order to spurn Israel, a longtime ally.
In 2013, the Department of Defense quietly declassified an intelligence report revealing details about Israel’s secret nuclear program. The timing is significant, as it occurred around the same time tensions between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rapidly escalated, suggesting this may have been a swipe at Israel.
The decision to declassify the report was a startling change in diplomatic protocol, as the United States had kept quiet about Israel’s development of nuclear arms for decades. Israel itself has never publicly acknowledged its nuclear program, for fear that it could escalate tensions in the region.
Several months later, an Obama administration official told the press that Israel had carried out a strike on a Syrian military base, CNN reported. Israel did not take credit for the attack, and Israeli officials were “furious” about this leak, which reportedly came directly from the White House.
The leak reportedly enraged Israeli officials as it marked a drastic change in the White House’s narrative toward their country. Just days before the leak, several Obama administration officials had publicly stated the United States was committed to Israel as an ally and its role in ensuring that Iran did not acquire a nuclear weapon.
In March 2012, four unnamed intelligence officials revealed details about Israel’s access to air bases in Azerbaijan in an effort to protect Iran from a potential Israeli strike. By doing so, the Obama administration prioritized its relationship with Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, over Israel — a longtime ally to the United States with a stable, democratic government in a region that’s otherwise plagued with volatility.