President Trump did not cause the Central Intelligence Agency to withdraw a top-level spy from Russia. Obama did. And so did indiscreet intelligence officials. CNN’s report to the contrary is false, as usual. CNN has a track record of fake news, including false and biased reporting that elevates white supremacists.
On Monday, CNN bragged of an “exclusive” report that “the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government” partly because “President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.”
In fact, however, officials “mishandled intelligence” and tried to extricate this source in 2016, before Trump even won the presidential election. The New York Times reports intelligence officials compromised this source by gossiping about him to news reporters.
“When intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia’s election interference with unusual detail … the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.’s Kremlin sources.” Then, “C.I.A. officials … made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. … [T]he C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries.”
President Obama compromised this source even further, right before Trump’s inauguration. Obama authorized the public release and declassification of a report by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) alluding to this source’s placement in the Russian government. The New York Times cites the public release of the DNI report as another reason for extracting the source.