US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017
A recent CNN report claims that the United States government carried out a secret mission in 2017 to extract a Russian government official who had been operating as one of Washington’s top spies. One of the reasons for the extraction was a concern by intelligence officials that the spy could be exposed by US President Donald Trump or officials in his administration due to their repeated mishandling of classified intelligence.
Operations of this kind are executed only when an asset is considered to be in immediate danger. The unusual decision to exfiltrate the spy was made not long after Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office in May of 2017. Trump revealed highly classified intelligence to the Russian officials during this meeting.
The Russian government dismissed the CNN report on Tuesday as “pulp fiction.” According to the Kremlin, a person whom the Russian media identified as the spy was a low level Russian government official who had been fired.