American spies paid a shadowy Russian for Trump secrets
Sheetal Sukhija - Sunday 11th February, 2018
U.S. spies paid the Russian person $100,000 last year
The sum was paid to deliver stolen NSA cyber weapons
The Russian had insisted that the deal would include compromising material on Trump
WASHINGTON, U.S. - According to revelations made by American and European intelligence officials, a shadowy Russian man was paid $100,000 last year by U.S. spies.
The intelligence officials pointed out in a report that the shadowy Russian promised to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyber weapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump.
Further, a report in The New York Times revealed that the cash was delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September.
It was reportedly intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout.
The NSA has suffered huge problems due to the theft of the secret hacking tools, and the agency had been struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing last year.
The report quoted several American intelligence officials as saying that they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian.
Further, they are said to have indicated that the Russian man was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals.
He is said to have claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. However, the report stated that instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.
The report also noted that the U.S. intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government.
According to officials, the U.S. officials worked through an intermediary to carry out the negotiations and preserve deniability.
The intermediary reportedly was an American businessman based in Germany.
The report also quoted officials as saying that U.S. intelligence agencies spent months tracking the Russian’s flights to Berlin AND his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna.
His trips home to St. Petersburg were also closely tracked.
According to the officials, the NSA even used its official Twitter account to send coded messages to the Russian nearly a dozen times.
However, earlier this year, the entire ordeal ended with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe and warning him not to return if he valued his freedom.
Over the last few months, several questions were raised about the Russian’s reliability.
Steven Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the CIA was quoted as saying, “The distinction between an organized criminal and a Russian intelligence officer and a Russian who knows some Russian intel guys — it all blurs together. This is the difficulty of trying to understand how Russia and Russians operate from the Western viewpoint.”
Hall added, “That’s one of the bedeviling things about counterintelligence and the wilderness that it is — nobody wants to be caught in a position of saying we wrote that off and then five years later saying, ‘Holy cow, it was actually a real guy.’”
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