Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called reports that a CIA asset in Russia was exfiltrated because of concerns about President Donald Trump’s handling of classified information “materially inaccurate” during a Tuesday press briefing.
CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported earlier this week that the CIA spy, who was incredibly close with Russian president Vladimir Putin, was pulled in 2017 because intelligence officials believed Trump would compromise his identity. However, The New York Times and Washington Post both contradicted Sciutto’s reporting, indicating that the spy was exfiltrated because the media started inquiring about his identity. (RELATED: NYT: CIA Extracted Kremlin Spy From Russia Because Of Media, Not Trump)
“But 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 reported.
In response to a question from the Daily Caller about whether or not the spy was compromised under the Trump administration, Pompeo called the reporting “materially inaccurate.”
Daily Caller White House Correspondent @amber_athey asked @SecPompeo about recent reports that an alleged CIA spy had to be extracted from Russia due to concerns about President Trump’s handling of classified info. @SecPompeo: “The reporting is materially inaccurate.” pic.twitter.com/WIUy6qwqvo
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 10, 2019
“Yeah, I’ve seen that reporting. The reporting is materially inaccurate,” Pompeo said, adding that he believes the reporting put national security at risk. “And you should know, as a former CIA director, I don’t talk about things like this very often — it is only the occasions that I think put people at risk, when the reporting is so egregious as to create enormous risks to the United States of America, that I even comment the way I just did.”
“I won’t say anything more about it,” he asserted. “Suffice to say that the reporting there is factually wrong.”
Pompeo did not answer the Daily Caller’s question regarding a potential investigation into who leaked information about the spy to the media.