CNN reports US pulled spy from Russia amid concerns about Trump's handling of intel

The White House is strongly disputing a report from CNN that the United States removed a spy from Russia in 2017 partly due to concerns that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE mishandled intelligence. 

CNN is reporting that one of the highest-level American spies in Russia was extracted during a secret 2017 mission after concerns that Trump would reveal the spy. The cable news network cited a person directly involved in the conversation about the removal.

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The decision to plan an extraction came after Trump's May 2017 meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The president during that meeting shared highly classified intelligence given by Israel about ISIS in Syria, according to CNN.

This information sparked a fear that the spy would be discovered, and then-CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBolton replacement inherits tough challenges — including Trump Saudi Arabia says it will take 'appropriate' action if Iran's role in attacks confirmed Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump MORE warned senior Trump officials about the extent of information being released about the source. 

CNN did not identify the spy or release any revealing details.

The White House and CIA both released statements to CNN taking issue with the report.

"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," CIA Director for Public Affairs Brittany Barmell said in a statement to CNN. "Misguided speculation that the President's handling of our nation's most sensitive intelligence — which he has access to each and every day — drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate."

 
The removal of the spy caused the United States to lose a key source in the Russian government built up over time in a time when there's increased tensions between the countries, sources told CNN.

CNN reported that a source said the United States had "no equal alternative" insight into the Russian government and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinMaher: Republicans 'right' to say Democrats 'never got over Trump's behavior' We, the People: A radical idea that must persist Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy MORE.

Last month, Russia experienced a nuclear explosion, causing the relationship between it and the U.S. to become even more strained.