CIA denies Trump’s mishandling led to alleged exfiltration of senior Russian asset

Trump CIA - JFThe United States Central Intelligence Agency has questioned the accuracy of a media report, which claimed that “repeated mishandling” of intelligence by President Donald Trump resulted in the exfiltration of a high-level source from Russia. According to the American news network CNN, the CIA carried out the exfiltration operation in 2017. Despite the success of the operation, the removal of the asset has left the US without this high-level source at a time when it is most needed, said CNN. The network cited “a person directly involved in the discussions” to exfiltrate the asset, but said it was withholding key details about the case in order to “reduce the risk of the person’s identification”.

According to CNN, the CIA asset was so highly placed inside the Kremlin that the US had “no equal alternative” inside the Russian government. The asset was in a position to provide “both insight and information” on Russia’s secretive President, Vladimir Putin. But by 2016, the sheer length of the asset’s cooperation with the CIA had caused some intelligence officials at Langley to consider exfiltrating him from Russia. Typically agents-in-place have short careers; they are either captured by their adversaries or are exfiltrated once their handlers start to believe that they are burned out or that their life may be in danger. But exfiltration operations in so-called “denied areas” —regions or countries with formidable counterintelligence resources that make it difficult for the CIA to operate there— are rare.

The CNN report claims that the decision to exfiltrate the high-level source was taken after a May 2017 meeting between Trump and Putin, with the participation of senior American and Russian officials. The latter included Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then-Ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. Citing an American “former senior intelligence official”, CNN alleges that Trump “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence” at that meeting, which could have led to the exposure of the CIA’s asset. At that time, the CIA decided that it was time to exfiltrate the asset and proceeded to do so successfully.

But the CIA disputed the accuracy of CNN’s story. The agency’s Director of Public Affairs, Brittany Bramell, dismissed what she called “CNN’s narrative” as “inaccurate”. She added that the agency’s judgements about exfiltrations of agents are “life-or-death decisions” that are based solely on “objective analysis and sound collection”, not on “misguided speculation that the President [mishandled] our nation’s most sensitive intelligence —which he has access to each and every day”. CNN said on Monday that Trump and “a small number of senior officials” were told about the exfiltration in advance. The news network also said that it was not privy to details about the extraction operation or about the current whereabouts of the exfiltrated asset.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 10 September 2019 | Permalink

8 Responses to CIA denies Trump’s mishandling led to alleged exfiltration of senior Russian asset

  1. captnmike says:

    And why should we believe the CIA clearing President Security Breach? Look at what is happening about a weather report. Many articles indicating our own govt. is worried that trump will give away our secrets to Putin and has been for several years. Then there is the spy satellite photo he tweeted out, and the list goes on and on. Inquiring minds want to know what trump has given Putin behind closed doors and exactly what Putin has on trump.

  2. Pete says:

    After “Trump “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence” at that meeting, which could have led to the exposure of the CIA’s asset.”

    Is the CIA skewing its ““objective analysis” over the need to exfiltrate the asset in order not to clash with its ultimate boss, Trump?

    The CIA’s Director would not want to be seen as “disloyal” and go the way of the FBI’s Comey.

  3. dumptrump2020 says:

    This is obviously pure speculation influenced by my negative opinion of trump – I think all the departments of the fed gov are terrified of crossing trump because he will cut their funding and make it impossible for them to perform their mission. The cia will cover for trump’s messes just like noaa did.

  4. Mike S Goodmann says:

    I wonder what type of blackmail the “Agency” used when they initially compromised him. As far as I can discern, “recruitment” is usually IC jargon for blackmail.
    Hopefully, he’ll be better treated by the incompetents in Langley than was the case with Nosenko or Loginov.

  5. Mike S Goodmann says:

    If indeed he was “exfiltrated” because Trump supposedly “mishandled” classified information, then I’d say that we have a very serious Constitutional crisis brewing!

  6. NDujmovic says:

    It’s safe to say that the analytic standards of CIA analysts and those of the public affairs spokesmen are two different things.

  7. Now Johnson is Prime Minister in the UK, the Five Eyes two largest members both have Commanders in Chief their intel agencies neither trust nor respect.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This may be related South China Morning Post’s, September 11, 2019 article “Suspected Russian CIA asset hid with family in plain sight in suburbs near Washington after disappearing on holiday in 2017”

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