WASHINGTON - "This is the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president" - that's how prominent New York attorney Alan Dershowitz described the multiple reports published on Monday about the incident in which President Trump shared classified intelligence information with senior Russian officials.
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Dershowitz made this harsh assessment during an interview on CNN. Later in the same broadcast, he also speculated - not based on any specific information, apparently - that the Unites States ally who was damaged as a result of the incident, could be either Israel or Jordan, two countries that border Syria and are have important intelligence capabilities in the Syrian arena.
Russia, it should be noted, is an ally of two of Israel's biggest enemies in the Middle East - Iran and the Assad regime - and regularly shares intelligence with both.
The White House said the allegations were false. "The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced," deputy national security adviser Dina Powell said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that Trump and Lavrov discussed a broad range of subjects, "among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism."
In January, an Israeli investigative journalist reported that American intelligence officials had warned their counterparts in Israel against sharing classified information with the Trump administration, saying they believed Russia's President Vladimir Putin had "leverages of pressure" over Trump.
According to the report, such conversations sparked growing concerns in the Israeli intelligence community that important classified secrets could reach rivals Iran, Syria and Hezbollah via Russia.