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Fear of Trump’s loose lips helps prompt CIA to extract Russia spy, CNN says

2019-09-10

President Trump’s loose lips factored in a CIA decision to extract from Russia a spy who provided valuable intelligence about Russian president Vladimir Putin, it was reported Monday.

At a May 2017 Oval Office meeting, Trump shared Israeli intelligence about a possible Islamic State operation with Russian Foreign Minister SergeI Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, reports at the time said. Trump reportedly did not have Israeli permission to share the information.

That was one reason senior CIA officials decided to extract the spy. Another reason was US media speculation about the source’s existence, officials told CNN.

The spy was high in the Russian national security structure, and could even provide images of documents on Putin’s desk, CNN said. The covert source provided information for more than a decade.

Trump was told ahead of time about the extraction, CNN said. How the CIA got the spy out of Russia, and the spy’s location today, have not been reported.

Shortly after his May 2017 meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, Trump tweeted that disclosing information to them was his “absolute right to do.”