A CIA source, who was extricated from Russia in 2017 amid fears President Donald Trump would name him, has been living in Washington, DC, under his real name, a new report claimed Monday.
According to NBC News, US officials have requested that the man’s name and other details surrounding his extraction remain withheld from the public because of fears the man’s life could be put in danger.
The source is currently living openly under his true name and is being protected by the government.
An NBC correspondent reportedly visited the man’s home and shortly after the reporter knocked on the man’s home ‘two young men in an SUV came racing up the street and parked immediately adjacent to the correspondent’s car’.
The men then questioned the reporter about why he was there. They are believed to US government agents monitoring the source’s home.
The US government took the extraordinary step of exfiltrating the top US source and asset inside Russia in 2017, after President Trump revealed classified information to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left) and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak (right)
The source is currently living openly under his true name and is being protected by the government. According to NBC News, the source fits the profile of someone who may have had access to information about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s (left) activities
Trump tore into CNN Monday after it aired a report on the 2017 exfiltration operation
It has not been confirmed that the Russian living in DC is the source who gathered secrets from Russian President Vladimir Putin and fed them to the CIA.
But, according to NBC News, the man fits the profile of someone who may have had access to information about Putin’s activities.
The Russian will likely be moved from his current DC home and placed somewhere else in order to keep him safe.
News of the source’s whereabouts came just hours after CNN revealed that the government took the extraordinary step of exfiltrating a top US source and asset in Russia following Trump’s infamous Oval Office meeting with Russians.
According to the CNN report, which aired minutes before the president unleashed a Twitter attack on the network, the decision to exfiltrate – or clandestinely remove – the source was taken after repeated mishandling of classified information by Trump and his administration, which prompted concern about the source.
During that May 2017 meeting, Trump met in the Oval Office with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s former ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
At that time, he revealed classified information on another matter involving a terror threat by ISIS, according to press reports at the time.
Although the White House denied Trump revealed information about US sources and methods during the meeting, concerns about the safety of the source prompted the CIA to act.
Russia’s former ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak had been under scrutiny for his meetings with Trump campaign officials before the election
The report says Trump did not reveal the identity of the source, but that his action prompted concern the asset could become exposed. The exfiltration operation was successful, according to the report.
Trump raised concerns again when he met privately with Putin in Hamburg in June 2017.
The Washington Post reported that at the end of the meeting he took possession of a translator’s notes.
The government only carries out an exfiltration when it believes an asset is in extraordinary danger.
As for the utility of the Russian asset, a source told CNN there was ‘no equal alternative’ inside the Russian government.
Times President Trump has disclosed classified information or potentially put it at risk
In May 2017, Trump met in the Oval Office with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s former ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. During the meeting, he revealed classified information on another matter involving a terror threat by ISIS. It was later reported that the information came from a Middle Easter ally.
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May rebuked Trump in May of 2018 after he tweeted about ‘sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard’ who carried out the Manchester bombing. The tweet came before police had identified a suspect.
In August 2019, Trump tweeted a very precise image of an Iranian site after a launch failure. Trump said he had an ‘absolute right’ to put out the information. A Pentagon official said Trump had been briefed on the launch failure that morning.
In March 2017 at Mar-a-Lago club, Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping as the U.S. launched 59 missiles in Syria in view of guests.
In May of 2018, Trump bragged at a fundraiser about the performance of the U.S. military in a skirmish in Syria against Russian mercenaries.
In February 2017, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could be seen at Mar-a-Lago discussing a North Korean missile launch and viewing a laptop.
But late Monday evening, The New York Times published a report that largely contradicted CNN’s.
The Times reported that CIA officials ‘made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia’.
That would have been weeks before Trump even took office.
According to the Times, it was concerns about media reporting on Russian election interference that prompted the decision to extract the source.
‘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.
The newspaper claimed that the source refused to be extracted in 2016 due to family concerns, but the CIA ‘pressed again months later after more media inquiries’ threatened the source.
On Monday, Trump tore into CNN after the network aired a report on the 2017 exfiltration operation.
‘Great news that an activist investor is now involved with AT&T. As the owner of VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN, perhaps they will now put a stop to all of the Fake News emanating from its non-credible ‘anchors,’ Trump wrote Monday morning.
‘Also, I hear that, because of its bad ratings, it is losing a fortune…But most importantly, @CNN is bad for the USA,’ Trump continued. ‘Their International Division spews bad information & Fake News all over the globe. This is why foreign leaders are always asking me, ‘Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?’ It is a fraudulent shame, & all comes from the top!’
CIA spokeswoman Brittany Bramell responded: ‘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. 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 the report itself ‘has the potential to put lives in danger.’
Trump has come under fire numerous times for his handling of US intelligence information. As president, he is able to gain access to the very best information through intelligence briefings from top intelligence officials.
Early in his term, when he approved air strikes in Syria, Trump came under criticism for turning his Mar-a-Lago club into an open-air situation room.
While club-goers mingled at the club in February 2017, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed a North Korean missile launch.
In March 2017 at the club, Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping as the US launched 59 missiles in Syria.
Late last month, Trump tweeted out a highly detailed image of an Iranian missile site following a failed launch. A Pentagon official said the image was shared during Trump’s classified intelligence briefing
‘It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment,’ quipped Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross later.
In May of 2018, Trump bragged about the performance of the US military in a skirmish in Syria against Russian mercenaries, Politico reported.
He bragged to donors at a $5million New York fundraiser that US F-18 pilots may have killed up to 300 mercenaries in about ’10 minutes’.
Late last month, Trump tweeted out a highly detailed image of an Iranian missile site following a failed launch.
After a report that a Pentagon official said the image was shared during Trump’s classified intelligence briefing on August 30, Trump said he had an ‘absolute right’ to put out the information.
It revealed the nature of the nigh-resolution information the US was able to obtain from above Iran.