Despite CIA Rebuke, CNN's Jim Sciutto Stands By His Russian Spy Story

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Posted: Sep 16, 2019 5:00 PM
Despite CIA Rebuke, CNN's Jim Sciutto Stands By His Russian Spy Story

Source: AP Photo/Ron Harris

CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto claimed last week that President Trump's apparent mishandling of classified intel sped the extraction of a spy stationed in Russia in 2017. The CIA called his reporting BS in a very rare public rebuke.

"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.  "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."

The New York Times also issued a separate report poking holes in Sciutto's story, which offered a different timeline of events. Their reporters found that the Russian spy had been extracted back in 2016, before Trump had even taken office.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham called Sciutto's report not just inaccurate, but "dangerous."

Yet, over the weekend, Sciutto told his colleague Brian Stelter on air that he "100 hundred percent" stands by his report. 

"We would not have gone there if we didn't trust the source's involvement, information, and level in those discussions," Sciutto argued.

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The report is also still the "pinned tweet" on Sciutto's Twitter profile, proving he's still pretty proud of it.