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Thread: US removed covert source in Russia due to safety concerns under Trump – report

  1. #1

    US removed covert source in Russia due to safety concerns under Trump – report

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ns-under-trump

    The US extracted “one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government” in 2017, it was reported on Monday, in part because of concerns that mishandling of classified intelligence by Donald Trump and his administration could jeopardise the source’s safety.

    CNN cited “multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge” of the matter and said “a person directly involved in the discussions” said the move was made because Trump and his officials could not be fully trusted.

    Describing a “culmination of months of mounting fear within the intelligence community”, CNN said the decision to carry out the extraction was made shortly after a now infamous Oval Office meeting in May 2017 in which Trump, who had recently fired the FBI director, James Comey, discussed highly sensitive intelligence concerning Isis in Syria with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the then ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

    The report also said US officials had been alarmed by Trump’s private meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Hamburg in July that year.

    CNN cited “a source with knowledge of the intelligence community’s response” to the Trump-Putin meeting as saying: “Officials again expressed concern that the president may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia.”

    It also said Trump and “a small number of senior officials” were “informed in advance of the extraction”.

    The report added: “Details of the extraction itself remain secret and the whereabouts of the asset today are unknown to CNN.”

    The leak in 2010 of classified US diplomatic cables revealed how successive US administrations have struggled to find high-level assets inside the Russian government with genuine knowledge of key decisions and players.

    Generally speaking, US diplomats have relied on a public network of scholars and Russian journalists to make sense of Kremlin affairs. The Kremlin – made up largely of ex-KGB officers – is paranoid about western spies, especially American ones.

    The penalty for cooperating with western intelligence services has been laid bare in a series of extraterritorial assassinations, including the 2006 polonium murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko, and the 2018 novichok attack on the former GRU military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal.

    In 2017 Russia arrested two top cybersecurity officials in the FSB security services and charged them with treasonous links to the CIA. Russian media reported that one of the men had been marched out of a gathering at the FSB with a bag over his head.

    The last-known US intelligence asset to be exfiltrated from Russia was Alexander Poteyev, a deputy director of the “illegals” programme of spies operating in the US run by Russia’s foreign intelligence service. He escaped Russia in 2010, shortly before the FBI rounded up 10 Russian agents in the US whose identities it is believed he gave away to the Americans. Tried in absentia in Russia, it was reported he fled the country via Belarus on a passport belonging to a Russian citizen who had previously applied for a US visa. He now lives in hiding in the US.

    On Monday, John Sipher, a former member of the CIA Senior Intelligence Service, wrote on Twitter: “Recruiting a source with key access is extremely hard. A source in a key position may happen once a generation, if ever. Keeping him or her safe is daunting work. It is a big deal to lose these kind of sources.”

    The mystery of Trump’s relationship with – and publicly expressed regard for – Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, fuels continued speculation.

    Earlier this year, special counsel Robert Mueller concluded a near-two-year investigation of the matter. Mueller did not establish a conspiracy between Trump aides and Moscow but he did lay out extensive contacts between Trump and Russia and numerous instances of possible obstruction of justice by the president.
    More at link.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.



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  3. #2
    LOL

    More anonymous garbage.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  4. #3
    All these people should be fired. They serve at the pleasure of the President.
    *******

    I didn't start out thinking that anti-vax people were fools or impervious to reason, it's from my experience here that I now think that.
    - AmyPi 2014 (RIP)

    Anti-vaxxers, responsible for a 30 percent uptick in totally preventable diseases in the world, have blood on their hands. They shouldn't be considered civilized members of society. If they refuse to listen to a century of scientific studies confirming time and time again that vaccination is an unquestionable good for humanity, then it's time for us to start treating anti-vaxxers as what they are: dangerous and worthy of shame and condemnation. If we can't convince anti-vaxxers to change their minds, we must attach enough social stigma to the delusion that agnostics cease to join them.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ns-under-trump


    The mystery of Trump’s relationship with – and publicly expressed regard for – Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, fuels continued speculation.

    More at link.
    Putin is the duly elected leader of the country, FFS. Dealing with anybody except Putin would be a diplomatic travesty.
    *******

    I didn't start out thinking that anti-vax people were fools or impervious to reason, it's from my experience here that I now think that.
    - AmyPi 2014 (RIP)

    Anti-vaxxers, responsible for a 30 percent uptick in totally preventable diseases in the world, have blood on their hands. They shouldn't be considered civilized members of society. If they refuse to listen to a century of scientific studies confirming time and time again that vaccination is an unquestionable good for humanity, then it's time for us to start treating anti-vaxxers as what they are: dangerous and worthy of shame and condemnation. If we can't convince anti-vaxxers to change their minds, we must attach enough social stigma to the delusion that agnostics cease to join them.

  6. #5
    Russia downplaying it. Gives possible name. "He is nobody. He knows nothing."

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49651576

    Russia-US espionage: Details emerge of 'extracted spy'

    More details have emerged of an alleged high-level spy the US reportedly extracted from Russia amid fears his cover was about to be blown.

    Russian media named him as Oleg Smolenkov, who worked for a key aide to President Vladimir Putin.

    Mr Smolenkov was not senior, had been fired years ago and the extraction reports were fiction, the Kremlin said.

    A CNN report said the CIA had feared President Trump's "mishandling" of intelligence could put the spy at risk.

    CNN said the extraction came after the president met senior Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in the White House in May 2017 and had unexpectedly shared classified US intelligence.

    The CIA said CNN's reporting of the extraction was "misguided" and "simply false".

    What was alleged in the US media reports?
    CNN released the initial report on Monday, citing "multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge" of the extraction operation.

    The alleged agent was not named by US media but it was claimed the intelligence asset was the highest-level US source inside Russia, with regular access to President Putin.

    The reports said the source had spied for the US for more than a decade.

    The New York Times said the agent was instrumental in the conclusion by US intelligence agencies in 2016 that Mr Putin had personally orchestrated Russia's interference in the US presidential election.

    However, its report said the CIA had wanted to extract the agent before Mr Trump took office because investigations by media were putting the asset at risk. There was no suggestion President Trump had directly compromised the source, it said.

    On Tuesday, CNN quoted sources who had served under Mr Trump as saying the president had repeatedly expressed his opposition to using overseas spies because it damaged relations with other nations.

    How has Russia responded?
    Russian media quickly came up with the name of Oleg Smolenkov.

    The Kommersant newspaper said he had gone on holiday with his family to Montenegro in 2017 and disappeared, before a man with the same name and a woman with the same name as Mr Smolenkov's wife purchased a house in the US state of Virginia, near Washington DC.

    Law enforcement sources told Kommersant that Moscow had investigated whether Mr Smolenkov had been killed in Montenegro, but concluded he was now living abroad.

    Without naming the alleged agent at the request of US officials, NBC News said one of its reporters had visited the Virginia home on Monday and found the man was "living openly under his true name". The reporter was tracked by two men in an SUV when he rang the doorbell, NBC said.

    Russian reports said Mr Smolenkov had worked for Yury Ushakov, a senior foreign policy aide to President Putin and a former Russian ambassador to the US.

    Mr Smolenkov was with Mr Ushakov in the US for a number of years until the latter was recalled in 2008.

    A former colleague told RIA Novosti that Mr Smolenkov handled administrative affairs such as purchases for the embassy.



    Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said: "It is true that Smolenkov worked in the presidential administration but he was fired several years ago. His job was not at a senior official level."

    He could not confirm whether Mr Smolenkov was a spy nor why he had been sacked, but added: "All this US media speculation about who urgently extracted who and saved who from who and so on - this is more the genre of pulp fiction, crime reading, so let's leave it up to them."

    Mr Lavrov said he did not know Mr Smolenkov. "I have never seen him, I have never met him, and I have neither kept track of his career nor his movements," the foreign minister said.

    He added that no state secrets had been divulged at the White House meeting with Mr Trump.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  7. #6
    Who's "the U.S.?"
    "I shall bring justice to Westeros. Every man shall reap what he has sown, from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat. They have made my kingdom bleed, and I do not forget that."
    -Stannis Baratheon

  8. #7
    And of course this article did nothing to endanger the spy.
    “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” --George Orwell

    Quote Originally Posted by AuH20 View Post
    In terms of a full spectrum candidate, Rand is leaps and bounds above Trump. I'm not disputing that.
    Who else in public life has called for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea?--Donald Trump

  9. #8
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  11. #9
    So you do trust government agencies like the CIA.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
    "There is always a tweet. That has become accepted fact in the Trump presidency: For every pronouncement the President makes, there is at least one tweet from his past that directly contradicts his current view." -CNN

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    So you do trust government agencies like the CIA.
    Did I say that?

    Choosing between them and CNN doesn't let you trust a source so the TDS factor is decisive instead.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Philhelm View Post
    Who's "the U.S.?"
    Zippy , Bolton , Pelosi , Michelle Obama and Gavin Newsome
    Do something Danke

  14. #12
    Confirmed #FakeNews.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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