U.S. media on Monday reported that USA intelligence carried out an operation in 2017 to extract a high-level Russian official and CIA asset.
According to CNN's sources, the spy had access to Putin and could even provide images of documents on the Russian leader's desk. The CIA vehemently denied this charge.
A source familiar with US monitoring of Russian activities confirmed to Reuters that such a Central Intelligence Agency informant inside the Russian government did exist and that the informant had been extracted and brought to the United States. Other details - including the source's history with the agency, the initial 2016 exfiltration offer and the cascade of doubts set off by the informant's subsequent refusal - have not been previously reported.
The New York Times later reported that the alleged CIA informant had been spirited away after helping the USA intelligence community's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.
"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.
Last year President Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance.
Reports yesterday suggested that intelligence chiefs were concerned about the President's tendency to disclose information without warning.
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He said he would use his stay in Geneva to apprise the worldwide community of the critical situation in the India-held valley. It does not make the excluded person "Stateless'", the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement last week.
But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Trump directly endangered the source, and other current USA officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency's sources alone was the impetus for the extraction. A CIA spokeswoman responding to the CNN report called the assertion that Trump's handling of intelligence drove the reported extraction "misguided speculation".
Later on Tuesday, Russia's office for presidential affairs said it had not employed Smolenkov.
RT reported Tuesday that before 2010 the suspected asset worked at the Russian Embassy in Washington.
The CIA is pushing back against news reports that it pulled a US asset from Moscow two years ago because of President Donald Trump, calling the story "simply false".
According to the news network, the decision came because intelligence officials were alarmed after Trump divulged highly classified information on a secret Israeli mission in Syria during an Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in May 2017.
The extraction ensured the informant was in a safer position and rewarded for a long career in service to the United States.
Knowledge of the Russian covert source's existence was highly restricted within the U.S. government and intelligence agencies. "I can only confirm that there was such a person in the presidential administration, who was later sacked", he said. "But, he said, there was little doubt that revelations about the extraction were 'going to make recruiting assets in Russian Federation even more hard than it already is'".