Earlier this week, The Intercept and The New York Times published similar stories reporting that the United States intelligence agency paid $100,000 to a Russian who promised to provide it with compromising data on President Donald Trump and recover stolen National Security Agency (NSA) records.
The man initially asked for $10 million in exchange for the classified hacking tools data, which was stolen in 2017 by a group which calls itself Shadow Brokers, which was known to the NSA agents.
American intelligence officials who spoke with the Times insisted they paid the $100,000 to the Russian operative to get back stolen NSA cyberweapons and were not seeking the supposedly damaging intelligence.
The Russian operative, the report continues, "claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia".
'My view is that not only has Trump been vindicated in the last several weeks about the mishandling of the Dossier and the lies about the Clinton/DNC Dossier, it shows that he's been victimized, ' Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch said on Fox News.
"These leaks have been incredibly damaging to our intelligence and cyber capabilities", said Leon E. Panetta, the former defense secretary and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The operative's "eagerness" to provide them with the supposed damaging information, those officials said, led them to suspect he was attempting to bait them into stoking animosity between the American intelligence community and the president as part of a Russian operation to sow division within the USA government.
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This led the USA spies to terminate the agreement because they did not want it to look as if they were trying to buy compromising information on the President, the Times' report said.
The secretive agency rarely issues any kind of comment, but came out on Saturday (Feb 10) to deny the report in The New York Times and a similar one in The Intercept, an online journal focusing on national security issues.
"I hope people are now seeing and understanding what is going on here". It is all now starting to come out - DRAIN THE SWAMP!' Trump tweeted on Saturday. Despite the intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election, Trump on occasion has seemingly dismissed this analysis. In October and December he delivered documents he alleged contained information which implicated Trump's associates, but the Times reports that most of the information the documents included were already public knowledge.
The story most certainly hasn't gone unnoticed on social media, with many commentating on how fishy the whole thing sounds.
And looking back, it should have been obvious that the Russian never had any ties to sensitive information.
Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation.