By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) The CIA blastedÂ CNN on Tuesday over a “simply false” report claiming the agency was forced to remove a spy from Moscow because President Donald Trump inadvertently divulged classified information to Russian diplomats at the White House.
If true, the report would have been damning for the president, but the CIA assured thatÂ CNN was â€œsimply falseâ€ and â€œinaccurate.â€
In particular, the agency called out correspondent JimÂ Sciutto as “misguided,” though the network is simply shrugging off the criticism from both the CIA and evenÂ TheÂ New York Times.
AsÂ Fox News reported, Sciutto, a one-time Obama administration official who is now the Leftist networkâ€™s chief national correspondent, claimed on Monday that theÂ CIA had pulled a high-level spy out of Russia because President TrumpÂ had “repeatedly mishandled” secret information to the extent that the spy was at risk of being exposed.
â€œA person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian 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,â€ the article claimed.
But Brittany Bramell, a CIA public affairs spokeswoman, blasted the report as false.
“CNN’s narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false,â€ Bramell said in a statement.
â€œMisguided speculation that the Presidentâ€™s handling of our nationâ€™s most sensitive intelligence â€” which he has access to each and every day â€” drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate,” she added.
Others blasted the network as well, not simply for its report but for defending itself in the face of being corrected.
“You know CNN has gone off the rails when the CIA feels compelled to issue a statement rebuking its reporting,” Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News.
The rare rebuke by the CIA came asÂ TheÂ New York TimesÂ published aÂ bombshell late Monday evening, which mostly contradicted CNN‘s reporting. According to the Times, CIA officials “made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia” â€” which was weeks before President Trump even took office.
CNN‘s Scuitto claimed that “the decision to pull the spy was made shortly after Trump met in the Oval Office in May 2017 with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. In that meeting, Trump discussed classified information about Syria that had come from the Israeli government,”Â The Western Journal reported.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News that CNNâ€™s report â€œis not only incorrectâ€ but also â€œhas the potential to put lives in danger.â€
This isn’t Scuitto’s first bogus anti-Trump ‘scoop’ — nor is it the first by CNN as a network.
“Sciutto also co-bylined another largely debunked ‘scoop’ whenÂ CNN reported in 2018 that Michael Cohen had informationÂ that President Trump knew in advance about the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials. Cohenâ€™s high-powered attorney Lanny Davis was eventually outed as the source and admitted he ‘could not independently confirm what happened,”Â Fox News reported.
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