December 2016 – Officials in the intelligence community provide information to the press about a key Kremlin asset

In Email Timeline Post-Election 2016, Email/Dossier Investigations by Katie Weddington

(Credit: public domain)

(…) …the CIA exfiltrated a Russian government official who spied for the CIA for decades from inside the Kremlin.

Those stories appear to be based on leaks of information — likely highly classified — from U.S. government officials with access to information about CIA spy operations. And leaks of those operations began appearing in the press in late 2016, before Trump and Barr obtained access government secrets.

In a bizarre twist, leaks about CIA intelligence gathering operations to the media may have sparked the extraction of the longtime Kremlin mole in the first place.

On Monday, The New York Times and Washington Post reported that inquiries from the media about CIA sources for the Russia investigation prompted the decision to exfiltrate the spy. In 2016, the CIA offered to help the asset, but he refused. But in 2017, as media interest intensified, the CIA again offered to extricate him. He finally agreed.

NBC News also reported Monday that a longtime Russian spy was living in the Washington, D.C. area under his own name.

CNN was the first outlet to report details of the exfiltration, but the network appears to have gotten a key detail of the story wrong. Jim Sciutto, a CNN anchor and former Obama administration official, reported that the exfiltration was carried out in part because of intelligence community concerns that Trump would mishandle highly secret information.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/10/2019)