Monday, CNN’s Jim Sciutto wrote a piece alleging the The US extracted one of its top spies from Russia in 2017, worried about exposure and Trump’s handling of intelligence.
CNN Exclusive: The US extracted one of its top spies from Russia in 2017, worried about exposure and Trump’s handling of intelligence: https://t.co/zKiY4VwO3C
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 9, 2019
The CIA has now responded by calling the piece “misguided” and “simply false.”
“CNN’s narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false,” said CIA Director for Public Affairs Brittany Bramell.
In a CNN exclusive, @jimsciutto reports that the US extracted one of its top spies from Russia in 2017, worried about exposure and Trump’s handling of intelligence. https://t.co/GSDOamGaF1 pic.twitter.com/yJFXNR9wlR
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) September 9, 2019
The Central Intelligence Agency on Monday evening slammed what it called CNN’s “misguided” and “simply false” reporting, after the cable channel’s chief national security correspondent authored a hole-filled piece claiming that the CIA had pulled a high-level spy out of Russia because President Trump had “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.”
The extraordinary CIA rebuke came as The New York Times published a bombshell piece late in the evening, which largely contradicted CNN’s reporting. According to the Times, CIA officials “made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia” — weeks before Trump even took office.
Concerns about media reporting on Russian election interference drove the decision, according to the Times, which described the source as “the American government’s best insight into the thinking of and orders” from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction,” the Times wrote.
The purported spy refused the 2016 offer of extraction, the Times reported, citing family concerns. But the CIA “pressed again months later after more media inquiries” threatened the source, and he relented, according to the paper.
The whirlwind developments continued into the night on Monday, when NBC News exclusively reported that a possible Russia spy was now living under apparent U.S. protection, using his true identity, in Washington, D.C. — and that his life could be in danger. Sources told NBC News that the Russian living in Washington was the same individual who was referenced in the reporting by CNN and the Times, and NBC said he “fits the profile of someone who may have had access to information about Putin’s activities.”
An NBC reporter who knocked at the Russian’s door was confronted by unidentified men in an SUV, presumed to be security personnel, within minutes. Speculation about the purported spy’s identity, using publicly available records, quickly circulated on social media after NBC News’ report revealed identifiable details about his living situation.
“CNN’s narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false,” CIA Director for Public Affairs Brittany Bramell said in a statement.
Bramwell continued: “Misguided speculation that the President’s handling of our nation’s most sensitive intelligence — which he has access to each and every day — drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate.”
According to the report by CNN chief national correspondent and former Obama administration official Jim Sciutto, the decision to carry out the extraction “occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.”
The disclosure “prompted intelligence officials to renew earlier discussions about the potential risk of exposure,” CNN reported.
Sciutto later posted on Twitter, after the Times report was published, that the double agent in jeopardy had the “remarkable ability to take photos of presidential documents,” as well as “direct access” to Putin.
This article was written by the staff of TheConservativeOpinion.com