US removed top spy from Russia over fears Trump would blow their cover


Trump has repeatedly given up national security information to high-level Russian officials.

Trump's carelessness with classified material led the CIA to extract a high-level spy from within Russia, a new report from CNN stated on Monday.

According to a source directly involved in the decision, the 2017 removal "was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy," according to CNN.

CNN noted that the decision to extract an intelligence operative "is an extraordinary remedy when US intelligence believes an asset is in immediate danger."

The extraction decision happened after Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to America, in the Oval Office. That meeting took place the day after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey after Comey refused to vouch for Trump in the special counsel's investigation on Russia's election interference.

The meeting was not announced to reporters ahead of time, like most meetings of that caliber are.

CNN reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was CIA director at the time, made the extraction call after notifying senior officials in the Trump administration that too much information about the spy in Russia was coming out.

Trump also gave up information to Russia in that meeting that came from a third-party nation involved in intelligence sharing with the U.S.

Just a few weeks after the spy was removed, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit. Trump confiscated the interpreter's notes of that meeting, and despite congressional attempts to obtain them, has refused to reveal the contents of his conversation with the public.

That meeting also raised concerns of a national security problem.

"Intelligence officials again expressed concern that the President may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia," CNN noted.

Trump has a track record of being cavalier with national security. He has granted the power to view classified material to top aides who could not pass FBI checks, including his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Needing to move a spy out of harm's way because Trump could not be trusted to act with discretion adds another chapter to Trump's national security follies.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.