US extracted high-level spy from inside Russia in 2017, reports say

US pulled spy from Russia due to safety concerns under Trump: report

US pulled spy from Russia due to safety concerns under Trump: report

The source was considered the highest level source for the USA inside the Kremlin, high up in the national security infrastructure, according to the source familiar with the matter and a former senior intelligence official.

According to the Times, the agent was the CIA's most valuable Russian asset.

The CIA did not deny the source had been extracted in a comment given to CNN but categorically denied the suggestion that Mr Trump's handling of intelligence "drove" the operation.

The operation was supposedly launched after the May 2017 visit to the White House of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, over concerns that Trump and his administration "repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy", in CNN's words.

News reporters in the U.S. noticed details about potential sources in the information and sent inquiries to the administration.

If you aren't familiar with the word "exfiltration" that's to be expected: It's the rare removal of an intelligence asset who is thought to be in imminent danger-and CNN reports one such exfiltration allegedly happened in 2017 in Russian Federation.

A high-level USA spy inside the Russian government was evacuated in 2017 due to fears he could be exposed by President Donald Trump, CNN claimed in a report the White House, Moscow and the Central Intelligence Agency have all rejected as fake news.

US pulled spy from Russia due to safety concerns under Trump: report

The agency offered to extract the source in late 2016 but the informant initially refused, citing family issues, the New York Times reported.

Trump's sharing of information sparked outrage at the time, with Israeli intelligence officials reportedly furious that the president's actions exposed a source they had on Iran and ISIS. The decision to pull the covert source "poses risks to the safety of anyone a foreign government suspects may be involved", the news outlet added, citing an unnamed US official.

There was no suggestion that President Trump directly compromised the source in Russian Federation, and reports said that widespread media speculation about United States intelligence conclusions had contributed to the decision to extract the source.

The unnamed individual was key in providing information that led U.S. intelligence to conclude Putin directly orchestrated Russian interference in favor of Trump and against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, the Times said. The US intelligence community considers Russian Federation one of the two greatest threats to US national security, along with China.

Last year, Russian operatives traveled to England and used a nerve agent to try to kill a former Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, who had become a British spy, according to USA and British officials.

In the first months of his administration, Trump's handling of classified intelligence further concerned intelligence officials. Details of the extraction itself remain secret and the whereabouts of the asset today are unknown to CNN.

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