The CIA has condemned a piece written by CNN’s chief national security correspondent and former Obama administration official Jim Scuitto, as “misguided” and “simply false.”
He claimed that the CIA had removed a top level spy from Russia because President Trump had “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy,” as reported by FoxNews.
The reproach from the CIA eventuated after The New York Times published an eye-opening article following the CNN report on Monday, Sept. 9, refuting many of the claims made by the CNN piece.
The Times wrote that CIA officials “made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia,” and this occurred weeks before Donald Trump took office.
“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,” the Times wrote, adding that the decision to remove him was driven by concerns over the media reporting on Russian interference in the U.S. elections.
“CNN’s narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false,” CIA Director for Public Affairs Brittany Bramell said in a statement.
Bramwell continued, “Misguided speculation that the President’s handling of our nation’s most sensitive intelligence—which he has access to each and every day—drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate.”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “CNN’s reporting is not only incorrect, it has the potential to put lives in danger.”
The Times report stated the spy ensconced in Russia at first refused to be extricated, however, the CIA “pressed again months later after more media inquiries” became a threat to him, and he agreed to leave.
According to the CNN report, the decision to remove their source of information from Russia, “occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.”
CNN reported the disclosure, “prompted intelligence officials to renew earlier discussions about the potential risk of exposure,” although their report was unclear exactly how the president’s remarks would have further compromised the spy’s position.
Former intelligence officials claim there is no evidence the president endangered the spy in any way, and other current U.S. officials maintain the media reporting on the agency sources was the sole reason that necessitated the source’s removal, as reported by The Times.
“In their fervor to blame President Trump for mishandling classified information, CNN potentially risked lives,” a source familiar with the matter told The Daily Wire.
“They had multiple on-the-record quotes from Administration officials telling them. Their story was not only wrong, but irresponsible and dangerous, and CNN decided to run with it anyway.”