A spy in the heart of the Kremlin was withdrawn from Russia because of CIA leaks and not because President Donald Trump had compromised them, officials said.
Despite the provision of vital information from the inner circle of Vladimir Putin, the spy was withdrawn from Moscow in 2017 for fear of their safety.
Plans to extract the source had been under way long before Trump raised the alarm about his use of intelligence during an Oval Office meeting with Russian officials in 2017, it has now come to the fore.
The initial refusal of the spy to move to America had even raised concerns that they might be a double agent.
Reports reported yesterday that intelligence chiefs were concerned about the President's tendency to disclose information without warning.
The decision to retrieve the source was made after the mysterious meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov and the Russian ambassador, it was claimed.
But intelligence officials told it New York Times that the public and media attention that began before Trump took office was behind the decision.
There were no indications that Trump had actually affected the agent, they said.
Plans to get the source had been under way long before Trump raised the alarm about his use of intelligence during an Oval Office meeting with Russian officials in 2017 (left, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; right, Ambassador Sergei Kislyak)
Further details have also emerged about the work of the agent in Russia.
According to the Times report, this is the agent who reported that Putin himself had organized Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections.
The information they provided also ensured that US officials were sure that Putin had ordered the hacking of democratic emails during the 2016 campaign.
The initial refusal of the spy to move to America, however, gave cause for concern that they might be a double agent.
The agent's bosses arrived for the first time at the end of 2016, but the informant refused.
Counterintelligence employees were afraid that they had changed sides and that the information they had given the Americans was therefore incorrect.
A check of the spy's revelations was conducted, showing that their information from years ago was correct, but the suspicion remained.
However, those fears were alleviated when the informant finally agreed to be extracted in 2017.
Joseph Augustyn, a former CIA officer, said spies often found it difficult to relocate, especially if they had not told their family about their work.
Officials said the spy was pulled from Russia amidst intensive CIA sources investigating how Vladimir Putin (left) intervened to help Trump (right) win the 2016 election
& # 39; There have been times when people did not come out when we strongly stated that they should do that, & # 39; he said.
The fear of spy security had grown in the midst of an intensive investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.
Before Trump even took office, the CIA had accused Russia of interfering with the elections and causing speculation about its sources.
At the time NBC reported that diplomatic sources and spies working for American allies had helped the CIA to draw its conclusion.
The Washington Post reported that the CIA information was based on & # 39; sourcing deep within the Russian government & # 39 ;.
The agent in question allegedly photographed secrets on Putin's desk and sent them to his American spy bosses.
The information was apparently too secret, even for President Barack Obama's daily intelligence briefing, but was sent separately in a sealed envelope.
Concern about the use of intelligence by Trump grew after he met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Moscow ambassador to the American Sergey Kislyak in 2017 at the Oval Office.
At the time, there was concern about the presence of a Russian photographer employed by a state-run news agency.
Russia's former ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak had been examined for his meetings with Trump campaign officials before the elections
However, that meeting took place in May 2017 and the CIA's plans to get their Russian source were already under way.
Nevertheless, reports say that the decision to perform the extraction was finally taken after the Oval Office meeting.
Trump again expressed his concern when he met Putin privately in Hamburg in June 2017.
It was reported at the time that Trump took possession of a translator's notes at the end of the meeting to prevent them from coming out.
In the same year, when he approved air strikes in Syria, Trump was criticized for turning his Mar-a-Lago club into an outdoor space.
The CIA denied yesterday that the president's intelligence handling had driven the decision. But they did not deny that the operation had taken place.
It is not yet known how the extraction was ultimately carried out. It is not even known whether the spy is a man or a woman.
The spy would now live under their real name in Washington, but officials still fear the agent's life.
Reportedly, an NBC correspondent visited the man's house and asked two men in an SUV to rush to him and confront him about why he was there.
The agent could now be moved somewhere else to protect him.
Last year, another Russian spy for the West, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned in a murder attempt in Britain, to which British authorities have blamed Moscow. Putin has denied involvement.
Skripal had settled in England after a controversial spywap in Vienna in 2010. He survived the attack with the nerve agent, but his current whereabouts are unknown.
White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said the report itself has the potential to endanger lives.
Trump only responded by invading CNN and saying that the network & # 39; bad for the US & # 39; was and his rejection of & # 39; fake news & # 39; to repeat.
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