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CIA Blasts CNN For False Report on U.S. Pulling a Spy Out of Russia

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

Yesterday CNN reported, without on the record sources, that two years ago the CIA pulled a longtime American spy living in Russia. The story claimed the spy was taken out because President Trump couldn't be trusted with the Russian government.

In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.

A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.

But according to the CIA, which usually doesn't comment on media, the story is bogus. Not only was CNN contradicted by the CIA, but The New York Timealso found major holes in their "exclusive" story.

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.

During the time the spy was pulled in 2016, before President Trump took office, John Brennan was CIA Director. Brennan was a major driver of the false Russia narrative, called President Trump treasonous and lied to the American people about Trump's "Russian associates" for years.

Last year President Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance.

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