Trump’s mishandling of classified information reportedly forced the CIA to extract its top Russian spy

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

President Trump's administration bungled its handling of classified information so badly, the CIA had to extract one of its best spies from Russia, CNN's Jim Sciutto reports.

Early in Trump's administration, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned fellow officials that "too much information was coming out regarding the covert source," putting their safety at risk, CNN writes. So the U.S. embarked on a secret and eventually successful 2017 mission to extract the spy from Russia — an "extraordinary remedy" the CIA would only perform "when U.S. intelligence believes an asset is in immediate danger," CNN continues.

Fears over the safety of this spy reportedly began at the end of former President Barack Obama's presidency because the spy had been cooperating with the U.S. for a while. Those worries continued to grow after U.S. intelligence released a report that included details about the spy. But it was Trump's personal handling of classified information that reportedly tipped the CIA over the edge, namely when he "discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak" in May 2017, CNN reports.

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Weeks later, after the spy had been extracted, Trump officials remained concerned that Trump "may have improperly discussed classified intelligence" during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNN writes. That proposition drew from how Trump wouldn't let anyone see an interpreter's notes from the meeting at the G20 summit.

The CIA's public affairs director called CNN's reporting "inaccurate," while White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said "CNN's reporting is not only incorrect, it has the potential to put lives in danger." Read the whole report at CNN.

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