CNN is reporting that the U.S. extracted one of its high-level spies from Russia in the early summer of 2017 due to concerns that Trump would expose the covert source to Russian officials.
This followed the infamous meeting in May 2017 in the Oval Office in which Trump blurted out highly classified intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. That intelligence concerned ISIS in Syria and had been provided by Israel. That disclosure, even though it did not involve the source they removed from Russia, freaked intelligence officials out about the risk of the source being outed. Loyal Trumper Mike Pompeo, then-CIA director and now secretary of state, “told other senior Trump administration officials that too much information was coming out regarding the covert source, known as an asset,” according to CNN’s sources.
The official story from the administration is that there had been media speculation about the existence of the covert source, and that that’s why they had to be removed, but the official who told CNN that “did not identify any public reporting to that effect at the time of this decision and CNN could not find any related reference in media reports.” But a person said to be directly involved in the discussions told CNN the action was spurred by Trump’s repeated mishandling of classified intelligence—such as inviting Russian officials into the Oval Office to show off all his new intelligence.
They did get the source out of the country before Trump’s July 2017 meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit—that infamous meeting in which Trump was not staffed. The one where he confiscated the interpreter’s notes. “Afterward,” CNN reports, “intelligence officials again expressed concern that the President may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia, according to an intelligence source with knowledge of the intelligence community’s response to the Trump-Putin meeting.” Ya think?
Welcome to another week in Trumpland, where the president of the United States has been deemed a national security risk by his own government.