Michael Hayden, former CIA and NSA director, has rejected a recent report in Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth claiming that U.S. intelligence warned their Israeli counterparts against being too open with the incoming Trump administration due to concerns that the president elect's alleged ties to Russia could lead to a leak on info that would eventually reach Iran.
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"I don't share those concerns," Hayden told the Jerusalem Post in a report published overnight on Monday. "I saw the reporting. I don't think, even looking at the dynamics we are talking about, I don't think the Americans would do it. It is still America's CIA."
Hayden has been an outspoken critic of Trump and served the U.S. government in senior positions from 1999-2009.
Hayden's comments in defense of the U.S. intelligence community come after a report in Yedioth Ahronoth by Ronen Bergman claimed that U.S. had warned Israel that Russia's President Vladimir Putin had "leverages of pressure," over Donald Trump.
Highly classified information, such as Israel's clandestine methods of operation and intelligence sources, have been shared with the U.S. in the past, but Bergman's report indicated there are concerns that any such information could go through the Trump administration to Russia before falling into the hands of Iran.
Trump himself is currently the focus of unsubstantiated reports that Russian intelligence is in possession of compromising material on the president elect, including embarrassing sexual acts and business dealings.
Cooperation between the Israeli and U.S. intelligence communities has intensified over the past two decades, with most of the joint operations directed, according to reports, against Iran. Hezbollah and Hamas were also intelligence targets.
An official agreement in 2008 for comprehensive cooperation, including the exposure of sources and methods of action, reportedly led to impressive results, including the disruption of the Iranian nuclear program.
President Barack Obama put an end to offensive activity against Iran in 2013, at the start of secret talks between the U.S, and Iran over a nuclear agreement. However, the exposure of Israeli intelligence to the U.S. continued.