World: C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades - PressFrom - US
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WorldC.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades

05:30  10 september  2019
05:30  10 september  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017

Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017 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. © Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) looks at U.S. President Donald Trump during the welcoming ceremony prior to the G20 Summit's Plenary Meeting on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled his meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Argentina planned for Saturday.

WASHINGTON — Decades ago, the C . I . A . recruited and carefully cultivated a midlevel Russian official who began rapidly advancing through the governmental ranks. Eventually, American spies struck gold: The longtime source landed an influential position that came with access to the highest level of the

WASHINGTON — President Trump accused the F.B. I . on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”.

WASHINGTON — Decades ago, the C.I.A. recruited and carefully cultivated a midlevel Russian official who began rapidly advancing through the governmental ranks. Eventually, American spies struck gold: The longtime source landed an influential position that came with access to the highest level of the Kremlin.

C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades© Pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev The C.I.A. has long sought to get an informant close to Mr. Putin.

As American officials began to realize that Russia was trying to sabotage the 2016 presidential election, the informant became one of the C.I.A.’s most important — and highly protected — assets. But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia’s election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.’s Kremlin sources.

CIA slams CNN's 'misguided' and 'simply false' reporting on alleged CIA spy's extraction from Kremlin

CIA slams CNN's 'misguided' and 'simply false' reporting on alleged CIA spy's extraction from Kremlin The Central Intelligence Agency on Monday evening slammed what it called CNN's "misguided" and "simply false" reporting -- which the agency called a "narrative" -- concerning the intelligence community's alleged withdrawal of a sensitive source placed deeply in the Kremlin.

One official said the man had access to the identities of C . I . A . informants and fit all the indicators on a matrix used to identify espionage threats. Agents questioned the man, asking why he had decided to stay in Asia, concerned that he possessed a number of secrets that would be valuable to the Chinese.

One CIA interrogator who was subsequently sent home early threatened prisoner Abd al-Rahim Janat Gul was tortured for months based on false accusations made by an informant known as RT, a Russian state-funded TV network, had a leading story on a report that the U . S . paid Poland to host

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C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns — prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant’s trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed.

The move brought to an end the career of one of the C.I.A.’s most important sources. It also effectively blinded American intelligence officials to the view from inside Russia as they sought clues about Kremlin interference in the 2018 midterm elections and next year’s presidential contest.

Possible Russian spy for CIA now living in Washington area

Possible Russian spy for CIA now living in Washington area The former Russian government official, who had a job with access to secrets, was living openly under his true name. An NBC News correspondent went to the man’s house in the Washington area and rang the doorbell. Five minutes later, two young men in an SUV came racing up the street and parked immediately adjacent to the correspondent’s car. The men, who identified themselves only as friends of the Russian, asked the correspondent what he was doing there. A former senior national security official said the men were likely U.S. government agents monitoring the Russian's house.

The CIA ' s Seoul station had 200 officers, but not a single speaker of Korean.[76] Hart reported to Washington that Seoul station was hopeless, and could not be salvaged. Loftus Becker, Deputy Director of Intelligence, was sent personally to tell Hart that the CIA had to keep the station open to save face.

He has not been charged with espionage, and no evidence has publicly emerged linking him directly to the deaths of the C . I . A . sources in China. When the firm discovered a ,000 shortfall in a cash fund used to pay informants on cigarette smuggling cases, Mr. Lee came under suspicion.

CNN first reported the 2017 extraction on Monday. 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. This article is based on interviews in recent months with current and former officials who spoke on the condition that their names not be used discussing classified information.

Officials did not disclose the informant’s identity or new location, both closely held secrets. The person’s life remains in danger, current and former officials said, pointing to Moscow’s attempts last year to assassinate Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian intelligence official who moved to Britain as part of a high-profile spy exchange in 2010.

The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself. As the American government’s best insight into the thinking of and orders from Mr. Putin, the source was also key to the C.I.A.’s assessment that he affirmatively favored Donald J. Trump’s election and personally ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

GOP lawmaker calls for investigation into CNN spy story

GOP lawmaker calls for investigation into CNN spy story GOP Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.) on Tuesday called for an investigation into CNN over the network's report that said the CIA pulled a high-level informant from Russia amid concerns that President Trump mishandled intelligence."To put it out at this time and to put it such a way that the CIA had to come out and respond to this is really a disturbing part," Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News."I really

Ongoing news reports in the international media have revealed operational details about the United States National Security Agency (NSA)

The former Russian government official, who had a job with access to secrets , was living openly under his true name. The discovery of the Russian ’ s presence in the U . S . came after a CNN report Monday asserting that the CIA exfiltrated one of its top spies from Russia after officials became concerned he

The informant, according to people familiar with the matter, was outside of Mr. Putin’s inner circle, but saw him regularly and had access to high-level Kremlin decision-making — easily making the source one of the agency’s most valuable assets.

Handling and running a Moscow-based informant is extremely difficult because of Mr. Putin’s counterintelligence defenses. The Russians are known to make life miserable for foreign spies, following them constantly and at times roughing them up. Former C.I.A. employees describe the entanglements as “Moscow rules.”

The informant’s information was so delicate, and the need to protect the source’s identity so important, that the C.I.A. director at the time, John O. Brennan, kept information from the operative out of President Barack Obama’s daily brief in 2016. Instead, Mr. Brennan sent separate intelligence reports, many based on the source’s information, in special sealed envelopes to the Oval Office.

C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades© Chet Strange for The New York Times The source’s information was integral to the report from American intelligence agencies on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. The information itself was so important and potentially contentious in 2016 that top C.I.A. officials ordered a full review of the informant’s record, according to people briefed on the matter. Officials reviewed information the source had provided years earlier to ensure that it had proved accurate.

What Spy? Kremlin Mocks Aide Recruited by C.I.A. as a Boozy Nobody

What Spy? Kremlin Mocks Aide Recruited by C.I.A. as a Boozy Nobody MOSCOW — He drank too much, abandoned his sick, aged mother and — in Russia’s own account of the man portrayed in the United States as a highly valued spy burrowed deep into the Kremlin — he had no contact whatsoever with President Vladimir V. Putin. Just hours after The New York Times and other American news outlets this week detailed how an unnamed Russian informant helped the C.I.A. conclude that Mr. Putin ordered and orchestrated a campaign of interference in the 2016 United States election, Russia fired up its propaganda machine to provide an entirely different picture of the same man, who the state-controlled news media identified as Oleg B. Smolenkov.

Sciutto also reported that the Obama administration had concerns about the safety of the source and considered removing the person from Russia . Little else was reported about the Kremlin asset until May 24, when The New York Times reported that a “key informant ” had provided information that led

The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently Eventually, U . S . counterintelligence officials identified Lee, the former CIA officer who had worked extensively in Beijing, as China’ s likely informant .

Even though the review passed muster, the source’s rejection of the C.I.A.’s initial offer of exfiltration prompted doubts among some counterintelligence officials. They wondered whether the informant had been turned and had become a double agent, secretly betraying his American handlers. That would almost certainly mean that some of the information the informant provided about the Russian interference campaign or Mr. Putin’s intentions would have been inaccurate.

Some operatives had other reasons to suspect the source could be a double agent, according to two former officials, but they declined to explain further.

Other current and former officials who acknowledged the doubts said they were put to rest when the source agreed to be extracted after the C.I.A. asked a second time.

Leaving behind one’s native country is a weighty decision, said Joseph Augustyn, a former senior C.I.A. officer who once ran the agency’s defector resettlement center. Often, informants have kept their spy work secret from their families.

“It’s a very difficult decision to make, but it is their decision to make,” Mr. Augustyn said. “There have been times when people have not come out when we strongly suggested that they should.”

The decision to extract the informant was driven “in part” because of concerns that Mr. Trump and his administration had mishandled delicate intelligence, CNN reported. But 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.

A President who threatens national security

A President who threatens national security Frida Ghitis writes that CNN's report of a top US spy being extracted from Russia in 2017 shouldn't just be categorized as another astonishing moment of Trump's presidency -- this one deserves closer attention. Trump's behavior is such a clear threat that the country is having to, in effect, weaken its own security to protect itself from the fallout of Trump's actions . The administration calls the story "incorrect," and the CIA describes parts of it as, "misguided speculation.

The agency has not had a Senate-confirmed director since Sarah Saldaña stepped down on Green Team members are eventually sent to the SRT Initial Certification Course at the Office of Firearms External links. Wikimedia Commons has media related to U . S . Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Victoria Toensing has been representing the unnamed informant for the past several weeks. In decades of legal work, Toensing says she ' s never come across a threat like that over an NDA. This is not all things Russia ," said Toensing. She says Trump could also release her client from his NDA.

Mr. Trump was first briefed on the intelligence about Russian interference, including material from the prized informant, two weeks before his inauguration. A C.I.A. spokeswoman responding to the CNN report called the assertion that Mr. Trump’s handling of intelligence drove the reported extraction “misguided speculation.”

Some former intelligence officials said the president’s closed-door meetings with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials, along with Twitter posts about delicate intelligence matters, have sown concern among overseas sources.

“We have a president who, unlike any other president in modern history, is willing to use sensitive, classified intelligence however he sees fit,” said Steven L. Hall, a former C.I.A. official who led the agency’s Russia operations. “He does it in front of our adversaries. He does it by tweet. We are in uncharted waters.”

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC, began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin’s involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.’s possible sources for the assessment.

The following month, The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A.’s conclusions relied on “sourcing deep inside the Russian government.” And The New York Times later published articles disclosing details about the source.

The news reporting in the spring and summer of 2017 convinced United States government officials that they had to update and revive their extraction plan, according to people familiar the matter.

The extraction ensured the informant was in a safer position and rewarded for a long career in service to the United States. But it came at a great cost: It left the C.I.A. struggling to understand what was going on inside the highest ranks of the Kremlin.

The agency has long struggled to recruit sources close to Mr. Putin, a former intelligence officer himself wary of C.I.A. operations. He confides in only a small group of people and has rigorous operational security, eschewing electronic communications.

James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence who left office at the end of the Obama administration, said he had no knowledge of the decision to conduct an extraction. But, he said, there was little doubt that revelations about the extraction “is going to make recruiting assets in Russia even more difficult than it already is.”

Secrets, All-Seeing Secretaries and a CIA Mission to Publish an Infamous Love Story .
Women are at the center of Lara Prescott’s book 'The Secrets We Kept,' a fictional account of the dangers of publishing 'Doctor Zhivago.'Lara Prescott’s debut, The Secrets We Kept, reimagines Doctor Zhivago’s dangerous journey to publication, placing women serving as CIA secretaries at the center of the story. The novel closely follows three perspectives: Olga, Pasternak’s real-life mistress, on whom he based the fictional Lara (who in turn inspired Prescott’s first name); Irina, a new secretary being groomed to go undercover; and Sally, the glamorous agent training her.

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