Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a briefing on terrorism financing at the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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White House disputes accounts of Russian CIA informant

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The Trump administration on Tuesday disputed reports of a Russian official who was recruited as a spy for the CIA and then evacuated to the United States after revealing information about the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley and the CIA challenged reports that appeared in The New York Times, CNN and elsewhere about a Russian official with high-level access who provided the U.S. with valuable intelligence for years until he was abruptly pulled from the country.

"Suffice it to say that the reporting there is factually wrong," Pompeo said Tuesday, without specifying exactly what he was disputing. Pompeo was head of the CIA at the start of the Trump administration, soon after the spy reportedly was brought to the United States.

The CIA singled out CNN in a statement that disputed the network's reporting about what prompted the evacuation. CNN cited an unnamed source as telling them that the informant was removed in part because of concerns about the Trump administration's mishandling of classified information and the possibility that the Russian official could be exposed.

"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 of Public Affairs Brittany Bramell. "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."

Gidley also singled out the CNN report as "so wrong" and slammed an NBC report that purported to say where the spy lived.

"For the media, the hypocrisy they have is so egregious to come out and try and say that this president is putting lives in danger with the way he handles information, classified or not," he said on Fox News. "When they are the ones that actually go to this person's house with a video camera, revealing where this person lives, potentially their identity and that of their family."

The reporting, he added, is "dangerous" and "putting lives at risk."

The Times said the official was recruited decades ago, advanced through the ranks of the government and eventually held an influential position and was able to confirm that President Vladimir Putin personally ordered and orchestrated the campaign to influence the American political campaign to favor Trump.

The paper said the official was one of the CIA's "most important — and highly protected — assets" until the end of the Obama administration when the Americans began to worry about his safety because news media coverage of the election interference risked exposing him to the Kremlin.

It said the informant at first refused to be evacuated, or extracted, citing family concerns, which prompted fear at the CIA about whether the person was trustworthy. But months later, after more media coverage that raised the risk of his identity being publicly revealed, he agreed and was taken to the U.S.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was dismissive of the reports and the influence of an official he identified by name. He said the person was fired several years ago and did not have a high-ranking position in the Russian government.

U.S. media reports to the contrary, he told reporters, are "pulp fiction."

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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US media is just lowbrow entertainment at this point.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

US media is just lowbrow entertainment at this point

That's what happens when there's a lowbrow president. How's the media in Russia?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Trump administration on Tuesday disputed reports

But given the number of lies the 'Trump administration' has told, only Trump's hardest core believe a single word 'they' report.

No 'administration' in modern history has been as blatantly dishonest as Trump's.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was dismissive of the reports

Trump's global alt right supporters will probably once again believe the Kremlin. After all, modern Russia is the global alt right's ideal.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The CIA singled out CNN in a statement that disputed the network's reporting about what prompted the evacuation. CNN cited an unnamed source.....  

"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 of Public Affairs Brittany Bramell.

"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."

Gidley also singled out the CNN report as "so wrong" and slammed an NBC report that purported to say where the spy lived.

"For the media, the hypocrisy they have is so egregious to come out and try and say that this president is putting lives in danger with the way he handles information, classified or not," he said on Fox News. "When they are the ones that actually go to this person's house with a video camera, revealing where this person lives, potentially their identity and that of their family."

Amazing. CNN has lost all credibility as a "news" agency. CNN should register as a political PR firm working for the Democrat Party. At least that would be factual, and true.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The CIA singled out CNN in a statement that disputed the network's reporting about what prompted the evacuation. CNN cited an unnamed source.....  

Gee, weren't the Trumpers here showering hate on the "Intel Agencies" over the past three years for their "pact with the Dems?" Their "witchhunt" on Russian interference? The "Deep State?"

The words flip-flop and hypocrisy just don't register in their brains....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's what happens when there's a lowbrow president. How's the media in Russia?

Media is bored again. I’m sure will hear the typical Russian hoax believers on JT claiming with zero evidence that this is a true story. Lol

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Knew the story was fake news. Russia executed a Russian spy in the US who was due to testify before the Senate during Obamas' administration. The US spy would have met the same fate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just can't trust the White House. Such a shame.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How long will Republicans force their intelligence operatives to live in fear of their lives due to the intellectual disability of the president? How long will Republicans sell their souls to protect a president from whom his staff have to protect their people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

lincolnman - Gee, weren't the Trumpers here showering hate on the "Intel Agencies" over the past three years for their "pact with the Dems?"

This is just another story that proves CNN can not be trusted to provide un-biased, factual news. CNN joined the DNC's "resist" movement years ago.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The saddest thing here is that neither can be trusted...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A spy who was pretty darn close to Putin's inner circle. However, Russia's even luckier. In Trump, the Russians have the best spy any country could hope for.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

CNN's in hot water for their fake news on this.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Some things shouldn’t be reported on. This might be one of them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

lincolnman - Gee, weren't the Trumpers here showering hate on the "Intel Agencies" over the past three years for their "pact with the Dems?"

This is just another story that proves CNN can not be trusted to provide un-biased, factual news. CNN joined the DNC's "resist" movement years ago.

Dodge. Why so much love and trust for the Intel community now when they were the "Deep State" enemy before?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some things shouldn’t be reported on. This might be one of them.

True! Thanks, CNN, thanks.

Will we see the arrests of the clowns over there responsible for this?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lincolnman - Dodge. Why so much love and trust for the Intel community now when they were the "Deep State" enemy before?

Dodge? According to the title of the article -

White House disputes accounts of Russian CIA informant

According to the article -

"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 of Public Affairs Brittany Bramell. "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."

Gidley also singled out the CNN report as "so wrong" and slammed an NBC report that purported to say where the spy lived.

CNN and NBC are guilty of poor reporting, or of hawking more politically biased pontification. Either way, neither organization can now be considered a "news organization".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It must have been so scary and frustrating for this operative, after spending time to get in cozy with Putin, to have to worry for their life, then eventually have their work blown up, all because the president is so incompetent, his people had to extract the operative out of fear that the president would expose him to Putin.

How pathetic is that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland - It must have been so scary and frustrating for this operative, after spending time to get in cozy with Putin, to have to worry for their life, then eventually have their work blown up, all because the president is so incompetent, his people had to extract the operative out of fear that the president would expose him to Putin.

Yes, the President at that time was so incompetent that the CIA first attempted to evacuate this person in 2016. During Obama's reign. Which is why the CNN and NBC politically-biased propaganda/reporting has been so thoroughly debunked. We can expect Democrats, and Hillary worshippers, to cling to the original fake news version as it better serves their purpose.

How pathetic is that?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The real question is whether Trump actually is so incompetent, that they had to worry he might leak this agent's identity, or if he is so deep in Putin's pocket, he'd do it on purpose.

Good thing they rescued this guy, or he'd be dead by Trump's mouth, starting WWIII.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So how long will our 'pubs on the other side continue to support this president, who's loose lips resulted in the forced extraction of an intelligence agent who was close to Putin?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland - The real question is whether Trump actually is so incompetent, that they had to worry he might leak this agent's identity, or if he is so deep in Putin's pocket, he'd do it on purpose.

Good thing they rescued this guy, or he'd be dead by Trump's mouth, starting WWIII.

LOL. CNN reached a new low with their false claim that this "spy" was endangered by the Trump administration. The CIA began trying to evacuate this "spy" during the Obama administration. Unfortunately, CNN is no longer interested in reporting the truth. CNN is now an active participant in the DNC's political propaganda, and campaigning. CNN's only goal is to blame Trump for anything, and everything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if they will have to pull out any more operatives from Russia or other countries, like they did this guy, due to fears of being found out and executed, not even through nefariousness, but rather just because the president is so inept he may just blurt it out stupidly.

It must be a scary time to be an American intelligence operative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland - I wonder if they will have to pull out any more operatives from Russia or other countries, like they did this guy, due to fears of being found out and executed, not even through nefariousness, but rather just because the president is so inept he may just blurt it out stupidly.

Relax, Obama can't be elected to the President's office again. Of course, CNN may yet claim that he can. CNN has become the number one name in political propaganda, and un-trustworthy news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, the good news is that when Trump is gone, American operatives will not have to live in fear, like this operative who had to be removed from Russia due to the incompetence of the president.

What a disaster, that his lips are so loose, they had to pull out this operative. Crazy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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